Building friendships online can be a positive experience for children with neurodiverse traits, providing them with a supportive social network and a sense of belonging.
The Importance of Facilitated Safe Spaces:
When it comes to online interactions, ensuring a safe environment for your ND-tween is crucial. Ari Learning's Making Friends Classes offer a structured and supervised platform where children can connect with peers in a facilitated setting. These classes provide a supportive space where friendships can blossom under the guidance of experienced teachers who prioritize safety, inclusivity, and respect.
Why Online Social Experience Matters:
While some parents may feel apprehensive about their tween engaging in online social platforms, it's important to understand the potential benefits and risks. Allowing tweens to explore social media alone without prior online social experience can expose them to potential dangers such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and privacy breaches.
By participating in Ari Learning's Making Friends Classes, your ND-tween can gain valuable online social experience in a controlled environment, preparing them to navigate the digital landscape with confidence and resilience.
Strategies to Help Your ND-Tween Make Safe Online Friendships:
Maintain open and honest communication with your ND-tween about their online interactions. Encourage them to share their experiences, concerns, and any challenges they may encounter. This dialogue will allow you to provide guidance and support as needed.
Set Clear Boundaries:
Establish clear rules and boundaries regarding online activities. Discuss appropriate online behavior, the importance of privacy, and the potential risks associated with sharing personal information. Regularly reinforce these boundaries to ensure your child's safety.
Participate in Ari Learning's Making Friends Classes:
Enroll your ND-tween in Ari Learning's Making Friends Classes, which provide a structured and supervised environment for online social interaction. These classes offer opportunities for your child to develop friendships with peers who share similar interests and experiences, fostering a sense of connection and support.
Teach Online Safety:
Educate your ND-tween about online safety practices, such as creating strong and unique passwords, being cautious of sharing personal information, and recognizing and reporting inappropriate behavior. Instill in them the importance of thinking critically and seeking help when they encounter suspicious or uncomfortable situations online.
Help your learner maintain their friendships:
Encourage your ND-tween to stay in touch with their friends, whether it's through social media, texting, or video chats.
Help them plan virtual hangouts and activities that they can do together, such as playing games or watching movies.
Remind them that friendships take effort and communication, and that it's important to check in on their friends regularly.
Foster a sense of independence:
As your ND-tween grows older, it's important to give them opportunities to make their own decisions and take on more responsibility. Encourage them to pursue their interests and hobbies, and support them in trying new things. Help them develop problem-solving skills and encourage them to ask for help when they need it. By fostering independence, you'll help your ND-tween build confidence and resilience.
Helping your ND-tween make safe friendships online requires a combination of open communication, clear boundaries, and guided online social experiences.
By taking proactive steps to ensure their online safety, you can support your ND-tween in building meaningful and safe friendships that contribute to their overall well-being and sense of belonging.
Find Making Friends for all age-groups here: https://outschool.com/teachers/Carly