Kong Academy | Empowering Kids Through Play

School Success Starts with Names

The start of a new school year can feel overwhelming for kids with a classroom full of unfamiliar faces. However, we can ease this transition by equipping our children with relationship-building skills to foster new friendships and belonging. When children lack opportunities to interact and connect with peers, their social development is impeded. Therefore, as parents it is our role to ensure our kids can experience the richest range of social experiences possible. we fast track them into new friendships, give them more socialization opportunities, and help create a welcoming environment in their classroom where kids can thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. With Only 10 minutes of your time you can give your child the following simple techniques that will help them have better relationships for years to come!

Step 1: Teach them why mastering names matters

The first step in helping kids learn names is explaining why it matters. Knowing classmates’ names enables them to make friends more easily. Using someone’s name shows that you cared enough abot them to remember it, which is a sign of respect, and when people feel seen and cared for it makes things better for everyone.

Name learning develops the growth mindset, memory, and confidence. Unfortunately even many adults buy into the self-limiting belief that they are just “bad with names.” This negative self-talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Research shows that people primed with a “poor memory” stereotype actually perform worse on name learning tasks, demonstrating the power words can have in shaping ability. Rather than accepting a fixed mindset that we are just “bad at names,” equip your child to believe they can get better through practice and tricks. So what are those tricks?

Step 2: Teach them How. here are the secret tips to name mastery

  1. Listen: When someone says their name, really focus and listen hard instead of being distracted.
  2. Say the person’s name: out loud right after you meet them. This will help you remember.
    1. Repeat the name to yourself a few times after meeting someone new.
  3. Get creative: by making something up to help you remember.
    1. Make a picture in your head of the person’s name. See the letters floating above them, in bright lights, and fireworks! Or imagine something that is like their name appear above their head. For example, if someone’s name is Catherine you may choose to imagine a cat to remember Catherine.
    2. Make up a rhyme or song about the person’s name and sing it in your head.
  4. Ask Questions: If its a tricky name you have never heard before and you think you might forget.
    1. Ask the person to spell their name or say it slowly. That way you can remember all the letters.
    2. Ask the person questions about their name and where it came from. The story will help you remember.

In short, just remember the key is to 1: listen closely, 2: repeat it, 3: make up rhymes or songs, and 4: ask questions whenever you meet someone new!

Learning classmates’ names is a valuable skill that allows kids to thrive socially and academically. As parents, we have the opportunity to instill confidence in our children by equipping them with relationship-building tools like name memorization. While mastering name recall takes time and practice, the rewards are plentiful. Kids who know names are more likely to experience increased participation, deeper connections with peers, and an overall welcoming classroom environment. By starting the name memorization journey with fun techniques and encouragement, we can set our kids up to smoothly navigate new social situations now and in the future. Let’s help our children unlock the power of names as they embark on an exciting new school year!

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