Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Enlist your child’s teacher.

What you can do

Ask your child’s teacher to suggest students whose interests or personalities might make them good playmates for your child. Check in with the teacher every few weeks to see if your child is making progress on initiating friendships at school.

If your child is experiencing social difficulties in the classroom, it’s important to get feedback from the teacher as early in the school year as possible. You can use this information to help your child develop more effective social skills and practice them together at home.

Be sure to let the teacher know which specific behaviors you’re working on and which strategies are helpful.

What you can say

“Thank you for sharing your observations with me, Mr. Jones. I’m sorry to hear Sofia isn’t making any progress socially. Why do you think she’s having problems interacting with the other kids? Do you have any suggestions about what I could do at home to help her get along better with her classmates?”

“Is there anything you could do in the classroom to showcase her strengths to help her appear more attractive to her classmates? Would it be a good idea for Sofia to speak with the school counselor about what skills it takes to be a friend?”

“I find that when I turn skill-building into a game with Sofia, she understands it better. I’ve also noticed that when she plays with one neighborhood friend at a time, the playdate goes much better. Sofia does seem to struggle in a crowd.”

“Could you identify one or two children who share Sofia’s interests? I’d like to arrange some afterschool or weekend playdates. Thanks again for your help on this. Can we meet again in a few weeks to see if any progress has been made?”

Why this will help

Your child’s teacher sees your child from a unique perspective and can give you valuable input. But remember that no one knows your child as well as you do.

Good teamwork and effective communication between school and home can help strengthen your child’s existing friendships, build opportunities for new ones and solve problems that might be inhibiting friendships. It’s important for your child to see that you and the teacher are working together to help make time at school more positive.

Explore more ways the teacher can help your child make friends.

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