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Ask Erin: Nurturing childhood friendships | Kitsap Week

Ask Erin - Richard Walker
Ask Erin
— image credit: Richard Walker

Dear Erin,

How can I help my daughter make friends?  She is friendly and kind but inattentive and day- dreams much of the time.

I think that the other kids don’t know what to do when she gets that way.  They probably feel ignored, so then they begin to ignore her.

She comes home sad from school. I would welcome any advice you may have.

Searching for a Sidekick in Silverdale

 

Dear Searching,

For some children, making friends comes as naturally as giggling at Sponge Bob.

For others, making friends can be as difficult as locating Liechtenstein on a map.

They teach geography in school, but unfortunately, there isn’t “friendship class” offered as part of the curriculum.

Check with your daughter’s school counselor and teacher. They may have insight and ideas to help guide you.

If your daughter is in elementary school, some schools have addressed this issue by forming a “lunch-bunch” club. Kids who struggle socially are invited to dine with the “lunch-bunch,” which is facilitated by a teacher or counselor.

They learn how to interact with children and what it means to be a friend.

You could also help her by inviting a playmate over.

Before the play date, prime your daughter on how a good friend behaves.

Let her know that a good friend pays attention to the other person, takes turns and makes the friend feel welcome.

Stick around and play a game or bake cookies with the kids to help guide your daughter.

The library is a good resource. There are oodles of books (both for parents children) written on this very subject. Check with the librarian for recommendations.

And remember, some people are more social than others. Some enjoy gaggles of friends, while other prefer an close friend or two.

-Ask Erin is a feature of Kitsap Week. Have a question? Write Ask Erin, Kitsap Week, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo, WA, 98370 or email

 

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