Helping Your Child with Their Friendship Problems

Thinking about your child struggling to fit in with other children or seeing them upset after conflicts with friends is a worry that most parents will face. It is normal for children to face some sort of social problem at one point or another and most of the time they will be able to resolve these issues on their own. However, if you feel that your child needs extra guidance, your support can help them navigate the sometimes tricky task of maintaining healthy friendships. With the help of these tips from an independent school in London, you can help your child to polish their social skills and deal with conflict.

Encourage Empathy
Teaching your child how to empathise with others will give them the foundation they need to develop effective social skills and cultivate successful relationships. Discuss various situations and ask your child how they might feel or react in each one. This could include seeing another child fall over at breaktime or witnessing someone being bullied, by getting your child to consider how these situations would make them feel it encourages them to recognise these emotions in others, allowing them to effectively deal with these situations as and when they arise.

Validation and Reflection
If your child is upset after a conflict with a friend, encourage them to open up to you about it. Whilst talking through the issue try and be as sympathetic as possible and show your child that their feelings are valid and important to you. Once they have talked through their own feelings, get them to consider how the situation may have made the other child feel, and possible reasons why the issue may have arisen to begin with. Talking through the situation will enable your child to revisit the incident with a fresh perspective. Gently suggest the idea that the other party may view the situation differently and encourage your child to understand the other persons point of view.

Working Through It
To help your child address and hopefully resolve an issue they are facing, role play is a brilliant tool. Have your child pretend you are the person they are having issues with and ask them to explain their point of view and how they are feeling. This will prepare them to approach the situation in real life in a constructive manner whilst keeping a cap on their emotions. After they have reflected on the incident and practiced how they would like to communicate their feelings, suggest they try and talk through the situation with the other party and encourage them to be respectful and patient when listening to the other persons point of view.


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