If so, it’s important to help—without hurting his self-esteem. Strive to:
  • Listen. How does your child feel about his friendships? If he’s content with one or two good friends, that may be fine. But if he’s unhappy, take his concerns seriously
  • Be a role model. Children are excellent imitators. Behave the way you’d want your child to act. Be polite, confident and considerate.
  • Talk with his teacher. How are his social skills at school?
  • Role play. This is a good way to practice skill. For example, what are some ways to join a group of kids playing a game? What if the kids are welcoming? What is they’re not? Take turns playing different parts. With a younger child, using puppets can help.
  • Supervise. Invite children over to play and stay nearby to be supportive. Choose guest carefully and plan cooperative activities. Set the stage for success. Give compliments when things go well and help resolve disagreements before they grow.
  • Be positive. Tell your child exactly what he does right. “I know you really wanted a turn, but you waited patiently. That was impressive!” Give plenty of attention to behaviors you want to become habits. If problems don’t improve, talk with a professional. Source: Dr. Victoria Samuel, “Friendship problems…,” Reprinted with permission from Copyright (c) 2008, The Parent Institute, “Firm, Fair & Consistent”