Has it been awhile since you’ve been the “new kid”?
As we began homeschooling this year, I determined to meet new people and embrace new experiences. That is easier for some people than others. While I don’t mind introducing myself and beginning a conversation, I thoroughly enjoy myself at home and can always find plenty to keep me busy there.
Last week, our daughters and I went to a kickoff meeting for a homeschool support group I joined. We enjoyed conversation with one mom and her ten-year-old daughter, but didn’t have a lot of interaction with anyone else. Friday will be our first field trip with the support group and it will be interesting to see how it goes.
This is a valuable experience for our daughters in learning empathy. They are very comfortable at church [and previously at school], since they have attended both for several years. We’ve tried to teach them to reach out to visitors or new classmates by smiling, introducing themselves, finding out the names of the newcomers, and seeking to make them feel at ease.
Now that our children are the ones in new situations, I want them to understand how they are feeling and remember that in the future. Even as adults, we can get comfortable being surrounded by our friends and fail to reach out to strangers.
This is yet another life skill that we hope to develop in our daughters. Do you have ways to reinforce this concept with your children?