What parents can do to help their child with friendships

Some parents may want the teacher to step in and ‘fix’ things for their child. This may be
necessary in some circumstances, for example when bullying is occurring, however in
most cases talking things through with your child and providing them with ample
opportunities to practice their new skills in social situations is more powerful. It is
important to remember that social and emotional competence develops over time, in the
same way that literacy, numeracy and other skills are developed. These are twelve points
that may be useful.

1. Don’t be over-involved in the child’s issues or harsh about their friends

  • Over-involved parents can complicate things. Help problem solve, rather than getting involved in all the little details
  • Over involvement by parents causes blaming and can make later change difficult for children
  • Don’t lay down harsh rules about friends – discuss benefits of the relationship
2. Address any learning difficulties, unresolved issues, disabilities or conditions
  • If you are concerned about unresolved issues speak to a professional, such as your child’s teacher, Principal, GP, or psychologist
  • Academic performance, peer relationships,self-esteem, mood and personal organisationcan be compromised by learning difficulties or other disorders
  • Classroom failures can lead to frustration and make students vulnerable to peer rejection
  • Monitor your child. Bullied children are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than their peers 1
  • Anxious or depressed children are more likely to have less friends than other children
3. Identify with your child their strengths

  • Help your child to find their talents and build on their interests
  • Help your child realise their own strengths
  • Put them in charge of things like putting furniture together, fixing things at home
4. Be a resilient and reflective parent who does not spoil their child
  • Be resilient, understand children need to sort things out themselves, unless it is bullying

  • Learn to remain calm and take responsibility for your own emotional reactions with others, your children can model your behaviour – good and bad
  • Do not spoil your child or allow others to spoil your child. Spoilt children can, givein easily, be mean, bossy, always wanting their way and can be angry

Published on Mar 08 2016