Friendships and Grade-schoolers
Use this advice to talk with your child about making and keeping friendships during grade school.
By: Gregory Germain, MD
It’s hard for a school-age child to believe that her parents were ever her age, let alone that they once also dealt with the ups and downs of friendships. But to get them to open up when talking about this subject, why not try telling her stories about your friendships when you were a kid? You can even cleverly weave whatever issue is presently at hand into your story to make it come alive for your child—and to make her feel like she isn’t the first kid to have ever experienced it.
This is a touchy time for kids as their personalities evolve and they are starting to become who they will be as an adult. The best thing that you, as a parent, can do is to be on your child’s side.
Friendships: Fewer but Closer, More and Casual
Parents of school-age girls might see their daughters developing more intense relationships with a few girls around now; parents of boys will often notice that their son has lots of friends, but they might not be close ones. Making friends is one of the most important things your child will do in this part of her childhood, and it is a skill she will have for life. Even so, kids differ in the rate at which they develop social skills, so, again, just be supportive and listen to your child whenever she wants to talk.