Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Use hobbies to make friends.

What you can do

Encourage your child to join clubs or participate in other kinds of organized group activities. This is a good way to make new friends in school and in the broader community.

Afterschool clubs, community-service groups, faith-based organizations and sports programs are good places for meeting kids with similar interests. Be open to exploring different activities with your child to help her find something she enjoys.

What you can say

“Sofia, I was looking at the community bulletin board and saw something interesting. Next week a Yoga for Teens class will be starting up at the town library. Yeah, I was surprised too about the location. Apparently a lot of libraries have started offering exercise classes—who knew, right?”

“This teen yoga class sounds like a great way for you to work on your yoga and meet some other kids who like to do yoga, too.”

“I also noticed the library is looking for teens to help with its children’s programs. You’re great with little kids, and you might have fun getting to know the other volunteers as well. Does that sound interesting to you? Let’s go to the library tomorrow and see what’s up!”

Why this will help

Making friends is important to your child, so let her know it’s important to you. Forming new friendships can be challenging. But by giving your child your support and finding good, structured activities, you’ll boost her confidence and help her develop positive relationships. Tapping into her strengths and interests will help too.

You’ll also be serving as her gateway to the community. Your research and suggestions will make it easier for her to expand her horizons and risk trying new things.

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