The Art of making Friends

I know a lot of moms out there wants their children to become sociable and friendly, but not all children are born with social graces. Friendship building requires skills that, for many kids, it just doesn't come out naturally. Of course, just as some children are naturally gifted at music and math, there are those who have a special talent for making friends and will acquire these skills on their own. Fortunately, no matter how sociable a child is, parents can help boost his or her friendship skills. Here's how to know when children need a little push and some effective ways to give one.

Don't expect too much. Children have their tendencies and tantrums. It's natural. So try to avoid pressuring children to adopt skills that go beyond their emotional and developmental maturity. It takes time and patience.

Respect their style. Some kids aren't wired to be social butterflies. Other's hate parties while others are conscious in groups. By all means, respect their preference. The more you push them to situations where they feel uncomfortable, the more they will resist. Introduce them to two or three friends and before you knew it, they'll feel comfortable to join larger gathering.

Expand their emotional vocabulary. When children mistreat friends, use specific "feeling" words to discuss the incident. A child needs to be able to recognize and communicate his own emotions before he can respond to another's. By naming a feeling, you can help your child understand his own reactions as well as those of others.

Set an example. When you've had a conversation that you think illustrates good listening, social timing, or negotiating skills, tell your child about it. Point out how the problem began, how you felt, how you think your friend felt, and how you managed to reach a resolution.

Don't cross-examine. Parents who are anxious about the child's social abilities have a tendency to conduct a quiz after an event. This questioning conveys your doubt that your child behaved well or not. Try to ask question which will illustrate your concern for him rather than the correctness of his behavior. So even if he did lapse into bad social habits, he will be more likely to face the truth and accept support.

Recognize achievement. Don't limit your compliments. be generous in giving recognitions and praises. Express admiration and approval. It surely feels nice when people appreciate whatever little things you do.


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