Children learn many valuable lessons from friendships. They learn how to get along with other people. Friendships also give children a chance to see themselves as others see them.
It is also the nature of childhood friendships that they often come to an end. Interests change, groups form and reform. A child who seemed to live at your house last year may suddenly disappear. So it’s normal for your child to come home complaining about something a friend said or did in school. If you try to interfere in your child’s life, you may make things worse.
How many friends should a child have? It depends. Some kids seem to need a lot of friends. Others make one or two close friendships. So unless your child has no friends at all or seems to be desperately unhappy all the time, you’re probably wise to let her handle her own social life.
Here are some things you shouldn’t say if your child reports trouble with a friend:
“If you hadn’t said (or done) that, Suzi would still be your friend.” Blaming your child will make her less likely to risk reaching out in the future.
“I never did like her anyway.” This could lead your child to question his judgment. And it can backfire if the two make up, as children often do.
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