If you are the parent of a shy or introverted child you may worry that your child may never make friends or relax in social situations. While you can’t make a child not be shy, you can help that child feel more comfortable interacting with other people, including their peers.

Will Your Shy Child Make FriendsAn article from PBS Parents, Helping Your Child Make New Friends, offers some advice on how to help a shy child who struggles with making friends come out of his or her shell. Here are some of the tips contained in the article:

    1. Talk about or brainstorm qualities that make a good friend
    1. Help your child understand how to start and maintain conversations
  1. Organize activities with other children

According to the article, it is also important not to put too much pressure on your child, realizing that some children are simply more outgoing than others. Friendship skills evolve even into adulthood so patience is key.

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at

Does your child seem to have trouble making friends? While it is true that shy or introverted preschoolers can have a tougher time making friends, that doesn’t mean that they will be friendless. Some children simply take more time to warm up in social situations but can still master the art of making friends!

Kids Who Need a Little Help to Make Friends

While you can’t make friends for your child, you can help them develop and practice key social skills. Skills that they will use and refine their entire lives.

How to Help Your Kids Make Friends

Helping your child navigate the mean streets of social interaction can be nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, the anxiety surrounding this issue can kick in sooner than you think.

Girl Friends

How Kids Make and Keep Friends

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that making friends is one of the most important missions of childhood and a social skill that will endure throughout their lives. Some children, however, struggle with this skill and, unfortunately, have trouble making and keeping friends.

If you would like to see the kind of place where your Preschooler can make new friends and learn and grow, schedule a tour at one of the Premier Academy Child Enrichment Centers today.

Teaching Healthy Eating Habits and Positive Body ImagePremier Academy knows weight and body image are extremely sensitive topics to discuss with your children. It is our goal as parents and as daycare teachers to teach healthy eating practices while also contributing to making sure our children have a positive body image. This can sometimes be tricky. We know we need to start young and set the stage for healthy lifetime habits early.

Children Model Eating Habits After Us

If parents and childcare providers have healthy eating habits, children are more likely to follow along. On the flip side, if children see adults eating unhealthy food, they are more likely to emulate that behavior. You can be good role models for a healthy lifestyle by building family nutrition and fitness into your family’s day and your quality childcare provider’s day on a regular basis. Can we share meals together – lunch or dinner – at least four days per week? Are there ways we can exercise together, for example, swimming, walking or bike rides to promote healthy exercise habits?

Be careful about the messages you may be sending to children about food and eating when you discuss/model healthy eating habits. One thing you may not know; it’s not the best practice for you to require children to eat everything on their plate at mealtime. There are different opinions on this, but some health educators encourage children to try one bite of everything, never pushing or forcing. Others advocate for offering children a favorite food and a new food together so they will have at least one healthy food option that they like.

Try to avoid labeling different foods as “bad” or “unhealthy”. This can be confusing to children when they then see a beloved caregiver or friend eating that food. You can say that healthy eating refers to the whole of what we eat, and not one specific food or foods which are “bad” for you. Premier Academy strives to be the best childcare by taking the approach of encouraging healthier snacks instead of singling out “bad” foods. offers “Go, Slow, and Whoa!” as another approach to healthy eating:

  • “Go” foods are the healthiest options for kids and can be eaten almost anytime
  • “Slow” foods are those you can eat sometimes but not every day
  • “Whoa” foods should make you think, “Wait, should my child eat that?” These are the least nutritious and should only be eaten occasionally.

Healthy Habits for Youngsters

  • Infants: With infants, we pay attention to their cues, and stop feeding them when they indicate they are finished by turning away or refusing the breast, bottle or spoon. Be careful what food choices you make for your baby. It is recommended to wait until a child is four months old or later to start introducing solid foods. And if the child’s first sold foods are desserts or fruits, they can develop a preference for sweets over other foods.
  • Toddlers and Preschoolers: With toddler and preschool children, provide healthy snacks and beverages such as water. Eating slowly together as a family is a good practice. Never require children to eat when they are not hungry. Also, avoid using food or lack of food as a reward or punishment. If you notice that your child is developing eating issues, they should be discussed with your pediatrician right away.

Talking to Older Children about Healthy Habits and Positive Body Image

Children are constantly immersed in images and talk of the “ideal” body. And yet we all know genetics gives each of us a unique body type, few of which fall into the “ideal” category.

With tweens and teens, subtle and not so subtle messages about weight and body type have an impact. These body images come from people, television, magazines, social media, etc. If your son or daughter opens up the subject, use it as an opportunity to communicate that very few people look like models; models also feel stress about their bodies; and being really skinny isn’t always a good thing.

If your child says “I’m too fat” rather than jumping to “No, you’re not” right away, ask “What makes you think that?” to try to keep the conversation open and keep your child talking about this issue. It’s important to know how to communicate with your child. Spend time listening to him or her. Express your feelings about the topic, but rather than negating your child’s feelings, try saying, “Here’s what I think. . . ” so it feels more like your personal thoughts than a judgment on your child. At the same time, if you ever suspect an eating disorder, talk right away to your pediatrician to find resources.

Talking about weight, body image and health can be sensitive, but it is also very worthwhile to keep the topic on the table and encourage children to talk about what they think and feel. Remember that feelings about this body image start early so be thoughtful about the impact of your words and actions in your child’s life.

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