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Why Good Friendships Matter (page 2)

Why Good Friendships Matter

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Updated on Sep 17, 2008

Dr. Elizabeth Knight, Associate Professor of Psychology at Auburn University, says, “There are some groups of children who have problems interacting with other children. Unfortunately, this can lead these children to have problems with self-esteem, depression, and anxiety, all of which can lead to learning problems in school.”

Tips for Parents
The key is for parents to intercede before their children become too involved with peers who have less-than-positive influences on their behavior. Arranging play dates with other children is just one way parents can be proactive. Parents should also:

  • Have an open relationship with your child’s teacher. The parent-teacher relationship is necessary for parents to learn about their child’s social skills and friendships.
  • Understand the classroom rules and behavior plan so that they can reinforce these rules and behaviors at home. A child feels comforted when expectations of behavior are the same both at home and at school, when all adults are on the same page. This leads to a child’s better understanding of appropriate behaviors, including the interactions among friends.
  • Talk to your children about their choices in friends. Even very young children understand the difference between friends who are nice and friends who are not nice. Conversations about what it means to be a good friend, why we don’t hit our friends, why we don’t call them names, and so forth, can have long-lasting results in leading children to develop and maintain healthy friendships.
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