Making friends can be hard. It’s especially difficult if you take a parent or caregiver everywhere. Here are a few ways to kick ass and take names in the posse-gathering department even with a grown-up watching your every move.
1. It’s hard to look cool when your mom’s always saying things like, “Do you need to go potty?” and “Come over here so I can put more sunscreen on your face!” Minimize these playground hollers by making regular trips to the bathroom without prompting and requesting sunscreen reapplication every couple of hours. You’ll look responsible enough to not need pee reminders and manage your own sunscreen timeline.
2. Sometimes when a potential playmate asks you your name, he/she may not understand you when you tell them because even though you’re six, you still have a few speech peccadilloes that your mom thinks are adorable, by the way. Ensure you always have paper and a writing utensil stashed in your grown-up’s bag for times you need to communicate through written word. This is also handy for exchanging digits. Wanna hook up for a playdate, sweetheart?
3. Make sure you pack your kickass superhero/Star Wars/princess water bottle. It is a good way to attract like-minded friends. “Hey, I couldn’t help but notice your overpriced branded beverage holder. I like Tinkerbell, too. Want to play Strawberry Shortcake with me?”
4. Practice your monkey bar skills. You’ll need them to run with the big dogs.
5. Don’t exclude your younger sibling, or any other kids for that matter. Inclusion is hip these days, dontcha know? Also, it helps solidify your “big kid” image in the eyes of the adults, and no one will try to treat you like a preschooler by wiping your nose for you or yelling, “Be careful, honey!” when you’re at the top of the climbing structure.
6. Swing by and give your grown-up a little hug and kiss every now and then. Not only will other kids be impressed by how you treat your elders, the parents will be happy that such a lovely child is playing with their kids. The extra affection may even earn you a visit to the ice cream truck.
7. When it’s time to leave, don’t cry or pout. Sure there is still fun to be had, but it’s always best to leave them wanting more. While your new friends are pining for you on the swings, you are heading home with a juice box and a smile. Like a boss.