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Friendship Counseling

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Date: October 7, 2014 Author: admin Categories: Friendship Counseling

My child came home saying that several of her close friends want to hang out with this one student that seems so “popular”. She doesn’t understand why everyone wants to play with this one student and on top of which she doesn’t really like playing the things they play. As a parent I replied with my two cents about the ups and downs of “popularity”, and playing games with others as an alternative, but it seemed to fall flat. Any other ideas?

Dear Caring and Concerned Parent,

I know how hard it is to see your child upset. All parents want their children to be happy and have friends. What you can do to help your child is help her learn how to speak directly to her friend – or any other child. Help her develop the tools to say things like, ‘It hurts my feelings when you don’t talk to me at school or when you say I can’t play with you,’ or ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings that way.’ Guiding your child to solve difficulties independently (with a little help from you) will help them with success now and throughout their life.

Here are some questions that could help her solve the problem:

  • “What did you try?”
  • “How could you and your friends play fair together?”
  • “How did it work?”
  • “What else can you try?”
  • “What could you say to this child?”

When your child feels rejected, parents feel it too, but I encourage parents not to keep asking their child questions about who did what to whom. This doesn’t help and it actually stirs up their feelings — and yours. A better focus is helping your child learn to take care of themselves and learn to talk it out with others. Parenting can be confusing at times, but comforting and loving your child, and helping guide them to problem solve solutions can really help them as they grow up.

Here is a great book to help your child with understanding feelings and making friendships: The Lonely Monster; From The Worry Woo Series, by Andi Green


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