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Don Adriano
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Help your child make friends

Does emotion coaching really help kids make friends? That seems likely. A recent study found that that the emotion socialization strategies mothers used on their 5-year-olds predicted changes in how well their children regulated their own emotions. This, in turn, was linked with children's friendship quality 2-5 years later (Blair et al 2013). both Western and Chinese children report that kids are more likely to be rejected by their peers when their parents practice authoritarian parenting --an approach characterized by low levels of warmth and high levels of control. :woohoo:

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Don Adriano
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Joined: 10/17/2016 - 01:52
Help your child make friends

Authoritative parenting is also characterized by high levels of control, in that parents set limits and demand maturity from their kids. But authoritative parents relate to their kids with warmth, and attempt to shape behavior through rational discussion and explanation of the reasons for rules. Studies show that authoritative parents tend to have kids who are less aggressive, more self-reliant, more self-controlled, and better-liked by peers (Brotman et al 2009; Sheehan and Watson 2008; Hastings et al 2007). What's cause and what's effect? It's possible that some kids are more inclined to be defiant, and these kids elicit more heavy-handed discipline from their parents. :lol:

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Don Adriano
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Help your child make friends

The earliest lessons kids learn about communication happen at home, and it seems they make a difference. In a recent study tracking young children over a period of many years, Ruth Feldman and her colleagues found that parents who showed high levels of reciprocity in their communication with children had kids who developed more social competence and better negotiation skills over time (Feldman et al 2013). But we can do more than engage kids in the give-and-take of family dialogue. We can also offer concrete advice about how to make new friends. ;)

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Don Adriano
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Help your child make friends

A number of experimental studies have reported that unpopular kids improve their status with peers after they’ve been trained in “active listening” (e.g., Bierman 1986). An active listener is someone who makes it clear he is paying attention--by making appropriate eye contact, orienting the body in the direction of the speaker, remaining quiet, and making relevant verbal responses. In their book, Children's Friendship Training, Fred Frankel and Robert Myatt of the UCLA Semel Institute outline a formal program for grade school kids who have trouble making friends. One aspect of the program involves making conversation. Frankel and Myatt argue that kids need to practice the art of “trading information.” :woohoo:

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Don Adriano
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Help your child make friends

Several studies suggest that kids get along better when they are engaged in cooperative activities—i.e., activities in which kids work toward a common goal (Roseth et al 2008). This is true in the classroom, and it’s also true when kids play. For example, one study compared how 4th grade boys behaved during competitive and cooperative games. During cooperative games, unpopular boys were less disruptive and behaved with greater maturity. Popular boys showed greater tolerance (Gelb and Jacobson 1988). Based on such findings, Fred Frankel and Robert Myatt recommend that parents steer kids away from competitive games, at least until kids develop better social skills (Frankel and Myatt 2002). :side: :woohoo:

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Don Adriano
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Help your child make friends

Let’s get really specific. If you see some children playing and you want to join them, how do you go about it? Victoria Finnie and Alan Russell presented mothers with several hypothetical scenarios and then asked these mothers what advice they would give their preschool children (Finnie and Russell 1988). The researchers discovered the mothers that gave out the best advice were the moms with the most socially-adept kids. Before making your approach, watch what the other kids are doing. What can you do to fit in? :woohoo: :woohoo:

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Don Adriano
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Help your child make friends

Studies in a variety of cultures suggest that children are better off when their parents monitor their social activities (Parke et al 2002). This doesn’t mean hovering over kids or getting in the middle of every peer interaction (see below). But it does mean supervising where kids play and helping kids choose their friends. Research supports the idea of “bad influences.” In one study, primary school kids who named more aggressive peers as their friends were more likely to develop behavioral problems over time (Mrug et al 2004). And kids with behavior problems are more likely to get rejected by their peers. :woohoo: :side:

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Don Adriano
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Joined: 10/17/2016 - 01:52
Help your child make friends

Most child development milestones are monitored closely by parents from a very young age: Can my child walk? Check! Use a cup to drink? Check! Jump on one foot? Recite the ABCs? Check and check! Then there are child development “soft skills”—social and emotional skills that can be harder to judge and even more challenging to teach. Skills like sharing, empathy and respect aren’t instantly obtained, but developed. Perhaps the most basic social-emotional skill children must develop is making friends, especially when they begin attending school. :P

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Don Adriano
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Help your child make friends

“Friendships are very important when it comes to emotional health,” explains Julia Cook, a former teacher and school counselor who authored “Making Friends Is an ART!” Continues Cook, “To a child, even having just one good friend can make a huge difference.” While some children make friends with ease, others may need encouragement. “Some people tend to think it just comes naturally, and for some [children] it does, but for many, it doesn’t,” observes Stacey Brown, a counselor from Fort Myers, Florida. If your child is shy or has struggled with making friends in the past, there are many things you can do to help. :S

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Don Adriano
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Joined: 10/17/2016 - 01:52
Help your child make friends

Talk about or brainstorm a list of “friend qualities” with your child. Cook suggests using concepts such as: being friendly, being honest, laughing and having fun, willingness to share, being kind, and learning how to place others’ needs ahead of their own. Once your child understands what sort of qualities make a good friend, you can then discuss, observe other children or even role play these qualities. Since being able to share thoughts and ideas is so important to any friendship, you can help your child understand how to build and maintain a conversation. :lol:

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