Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Observe your child in social settings.

What you can do

Get involved in school or other organized activities so you can observe your child with other kids. You can do this by being a field-trip chaperone, Scout leader or assistant coach. Take notes on what you’re seeing, and help your child come up with strategies for successful social interactions.

Keep in mind that the more success he experiences, the more he’ll be willing to try new things. This includes making the kind of social overtures that help form friendships.

What you can say

“Jacob, while I was volunteering in the school library, I noticed you and Robbie were arguing over who would get to check out the Harry Potter book. Neither of you would give it up.”

“I see that you ended up getting your way, Jacob. Do you think you would have been a better friend if you had let him check the book out? If you really wanted the book right away, do you think we might have been able to find a copy somewhere else? Let’s talk about what you can do next time you and one of your friends want to use the same thing.”

Why this will help

Being an active presence in your child’s organized activities will give you a better understanding of how he interacts with peers in a variety of settings. This will enable you to give him more specific feedback and help him develop strategies for more successful social interactions.

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