Being liked is a big deal. You can help your child build friendship skills with these steps:
- Talk about what it takes to be a good friend—for example, being honest, generous and a good listener. Can your child think of times when she’s shown these traits? Use role playing to help your child practice being friendly.
- Teach your child to be a good sport. Encourage him to be gracious whether he wins or loses. Compliment him for trying hard, even when he doesn’t succeed.
- Expect your child to be kind and polite. Being nice is the right thing to do, and it can make her more popular. Help her think about other’s feelings: “Beth’s mom is sick. How do you think we could help?”
- Practice cooperation. Do projects together, such as planning a family dinner. Look for opportunities to compromise. (“You can sleep 10 minutes later before school if you choose your outfits at night.”)
- Support your child’s friendships. Allow him to invite friends over and participate in group activities. Also encourage him to meet new people.
- Be a role model. When parents are friendly to each other, kids probably will be too.
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