Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Teach conversation starters.

What you can do

Show your child how to strike up a conversation. Point out how to keep the conversation going by asking questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Help her come up with a list of appropriate questions. Work on listening and waiting to respond to what the other person is saying. Practice these skills during family meals and other low-pressure situations.

What you can say

“Sofia, there are going to be lots of new kids in your class this year. If you want to get to know them better, you need to show them that you’re interested in them. You could ask them some questions, like ‘What sports do you play?’ Be sure to be a good listener!”

Why this will help

One of the most important aspects of any friendship is conversation. Scripting some safe conversation starters and responses and providing lots of practice at home will give kids with learning and attention issues the tools they need to initiate or join in conversations with peers.

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