Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Think about group dynamics.

What you can do

Tune in to your child’s frustrations and talk about whether she’d be comfortable signing up for activities with classmates. If she’s having trouble getting along with those kids, look for activities in neighboring areas to minimize the chance that any classmates will be there. Finding a new group of kids to interact with can help her make new friends.

What you can say

“Sofia, I love that you want to take hip-hop class again this fall. You mentioned the one at the Y, and I checked it out. The group is quite large, and Tess and Keira are both signed up for that class.”

“Remember your dance class last spring? You really didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as other ones. Do you remember telling me why? That’s right. You said that both Tess and Keira were always telling you when you were doing a move incorrectly, and it bothered you.”

“I found two other hip-hop classes offered close by, and they both look really good. Let’s check those out and see if they look like a good fit, OK? Maybe you could give one class a try and see what you think before you make a commitment to stay. You might meet some nice kids this way.”

Why this will help

Recreational activities can help solidify friendships or start new ones. By knowing your child’s strengths and needs, you can help her find opportunities to be around peers with similar interests and compatible personalities. Positive interactions with the kids the same age will help bolster your child’s self-esteem.

Building in an exit strategy will also help increase the chance that your child will stick with the activity she’s chosen and work through any frustrations that may come along with learning new skills or routines.

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