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Making & keeping friends

At a Glance: 4 Common Social Challenges for Grade-Schoolers

By Lexi Walters Wright

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Kids often form their first real friendships in grade school. If your child lacks certain social skills, she may have problems making friends. That can take a toll on her emotions and self-esteem. Learn how social challenges can affect your child’s feelings.

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At a Glance: 4 Common Social Challenges for Grade-Schoolers

If your child has trouble socially, she may feel self-conscious or as if she doesn’t t in. Get a sense of what your grade-schooler might be experiencing.

1 Social Challenge
Sharing and Cooperating

What it might look like:
Your child likes to play in the block area. When other students try to build with her, she shouts for the teacher.
How it may feel:
Your child’s first reaction is annoyance. But when kids stop asking to play with her, she feels sad.

2 Social Challenge
Demonstrating Self-Control

What it might look like:
Your child and her partner are taking turns reading paragraphs. When your child stumbles over a word for the third time, she slams her book down.
How it may feel:
Your child is angry that her partner is a better reader. She’s embarrassed about her reading skills and her outburst.

3 Social Challenge
Talking to Peers
What it might look like:
Your child avoids talking to other kids at school and spends a lot of time in the library.
How it may feel:
Your child may feel self-conscious about her speaking skills. But isolating herself makes her feel lonely and sad.

4 Social Challenge

Noticing Others People’s Feelings

What it might look like:
Your child’s teammate has red eyes and is unusually quiet. When your child skips up and starts
talking about a TV show, her teammate scowls and turns away.
How it may feel:
Your child may be hurt or confused by her teammate’s seemingly rude behavior. She doesn’t understand why other kids “don’t like” her when she’s trying to be friendly.
Graphic of Social Challenges: How they affect feelings in Grade School
Graphic of Social Challenges: How they affect feelings in Grade School

About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright

A veteran writer and editor for parenting magazines and websites, Lexi Walters Wright has a master’s degree in library and information science and is proud to serve families at Understood.org.

More by this author

Reviewed by Mark Griffin, Ph.D. Feb 21, 2014 Feb 21, 2014

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