Identifying your child’s friendship style will enable you to help them out when problems arise…
- Ardent These are children who love being ‘best friends’. They adore their friends, but can be easily disappointed and have their hearts broken.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Remember kids bounce back quite easily, so don’t overreact if they’re upset after a tiff. Try to get them to understand it’s fine to have more than one friend, and remind them how quickly they reconciled last time.
- Sociable This child gets along with many friends and loves the companionship of his peers. They want to be part of a crowd and don’t have one very special friend.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: These children don’t have the normal ups and downs associated with close friendships. So do all kids need a best friend? If they don’t have a favourite, don’t force the issue. Rejoice in the calm that comes with having a confident, popular child.
- Shy These children yearn for playmates but find it hard to reach out. Parents are their safety nets and they tend to cling to them.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: She is often her own worst critic, so give her lots of encouragement. Boost her self-image and praise her strengths. Invite friends to your home, and remember that sometimes a slightly younger playmate will boost her confidence.
- Awkward These children have trouble reading social cues. They can be disruptive when trying to join in with others. They can be bossy and frighten potential playmates.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: He may need coaching to help him make friends. Role playing can be helpful here: help your child with the appropriate language and behaviour that he needs to be accepted in the group.