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Foster your child's friendships

Check out these handy tips for helping your children to be happier in their friendships

by Psychologies

help your child make friends

If you have…

  • Shy children. Build confidence at home. Spend time with them and show them that you value their ideas so they feel more confident in contributing to social situations. Suggest specific strategies to help in the situations in which they're shy. Demonstrate: Giave your child opportunities to see how you behave with your friends.
  • Clingy children. If you child is giving away possessions to buy friendship or tends to demand too much from a friendship, this is a sign that they have low self-esteem. Don't use treats to show affection. Show as far as possible that you value them for who they are. Demonstrate: Show them through small gestures that you think about your child when you are away from them. This will help your child to feel secure when their frienda are not with them.

If they are…

  • Falling out with friends. If you child repeatedly argues with different friends, it could be a warning sign that there are deeper issues. Is there a point in a friendship – at the beginning, for example, or after a friendship has been established – at which arguments tend to occur? Look for patterns. Demonstrate: Listen to the whole story when your child talks to you and show empathy. Then ask them how they would like the situation to turn out, and discuss ways they can help make that happen.
  • Having trouble sharing. Don't force your child to share before they are ready or understand the concept. Often parents want to show off how good their children are at sharing, and choose their most treasured possessions to show this. Demonstrate: Remember that even as adults we'd be somewhat reluctant to share our most treasured belongings.