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Sunday, 28 June 2009

Just like adults, every child has a desire to make friends. It's a natural instinct, but they may need a little help. Children develop friendships differently from adults, they must first learn social skills. These skills include learning how to communicate, solve problems, cooperate, and negotiate. Here are a few tips to help your child develop friendships:

Create opportunities for your child to meet others:

  • Set up play dates.
  • Host family gatherings like backyard BQs, Christmas dinner etc., so your child can interact with family members and friends.
  • Involve your child in activities such as ballet, sports etc. where they can meet other children and interact.
  • Alternate with other parents driving the children to and from various activities. (I was a carpool mom for years and thoroughly enjoyed it).

Show Support:

  • Listen to your child when they talk. They will tell you what they're thinking in their own way and words.
  • Ask questions so they will talk to you.
  • Take the time to get to know your child's friends. Have sleep overs with pizza parties or bake cookies. (I learned alot about my daughter's friends by having sleep overs).
  • Get to know the parent's of your child's friends.

Be An Example for Your Child:

  • Show your child how you interact with your friends. They will learn from you.
  • Give your friends lots of compliments. This will boost your friend's self-esteem, but also teach your child to give compliments to their friends.
  • Laugh! Your child will learn to have a sense of humor.
  • Avoid arguments with your friends in front of your children. If it's unavoidable explain to your child that it's okay to have a disagreement and work out your issues.

Lead the way and your children will follow. They will develop meaningful friendships that will last a lifetime.


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