The Importance of Friendships Parenting

Friendships parenting is an approach to aid your child in building and maintaining meaningful friendships that is crucial for both their mental health and social well-being.

Paley and colleagues’ longitudinal data demonstrated that emotional insecurity with parents mediated the relationship between parental hostility or lower warmth and adolescents’ friendship competence. This current research extends their work by exploring externalizing problems and emotional insecurity with parents as mediators between negative parenting practices and friendship competence.

Talking with your child

No matter the age of your child, it is crucial that they communicate about their friends. This helps them develop language while providing you with insight into their social life. Although opening up can be challenging at times, try asking positive questions about happiness or share any worries or concerns they have with you.

Gifted children tend to prefer deeper relationships with one person over multiple casual acquaintances, which may worry parents. But these deep bonds help the child feel less alone in the world and learn that they can trust those they confide in.

Encourage both mother and father to engage in discussions about their child’s relationships, especially if they are having difficulty making friends or struggling with existing friendships. This is particularly essential if your child has trouble making new ones or is having problems maintaining existing ones.

Helping your child to arrange playdates and sleepovers

If your child wants to make new friends, helping them arrange a playdate or sleepover will allow them to spend time with kids who may be friendly and welcoming.

Help your child select a playdate partner who shares similar interests or participates in similar activities; this will give them something to talk about and form lasting friendships around. In addition, it’s a good idea to ensure any special toys or belongings don’t become damaged during a playdate session.

At first, children view friendship as something simple – a playmate – they only care if another child wants to play with them. Over time however, as children grow up they begin caring more about whether their friends help support or encourage their lives and this provides an important lesson in building lasting friendships and learning about supporting each other’s endeavors.

Keeping an eye on your child’s friends

As children develop, their friends often become an extension of their second family. Friendships at this stage can become very intense and it’s essential that parents keep an eye on who their child associates with; this doesn’t mean repeatedly criticizing or labelling people as bad influences; children will naturally defend the people in their circle without needing for someone to ‘handpick’ for them.

If your child has an argument with one of their friends, encourage them to discuss it openly with you. Remind them that friends were once strangers and friendships take time to form. Also take this chance to remind them not to make decisions about other people online without first talking directly with them; that can lead to much drama!

Helping your child to make new friends

If your child doesn’t seem to have many friends in class or seems distant from them, or seems withdrawn and distant in general, perhaps now is the time for you to help them meet new ones. Try playing games together at home or attending social events that foster turn-taking skills such as ballet or soccer classes in your area.

Inform your children that people’s interests change over time, as do friendships. If one friend becomes less present in their lives that’s OK; new connections will arise over time.

As important, it’s essential that you talk with your children about negative behavior that erodes friendships they already have. For instance, some kids may annoy their friends by dominating conversations or persistently pestering them; such behavior can make other children uncomfortable and make them stop wanting to associate with the person doing it – so make sure you discuss how it makes them feel as well as ways they can improve their behavior with them.

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