The new school year brings new teachers and new routines, but also an opportunity for kids to make new friends. Parents should not try to select their children's playmates, but they can help them make good choices.
It's OK for parents to help their children facilitate friendships, according to PBS Parents. The website suggests encouraging playdates and meeting the other children's parents. That conveys the message that you value friendship. The site also offers tips on how to help children manage friendships and rejection. For more information, go to pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/social/what-can-parents-do.
If you're concerned your child is having difficulty making friends, the Child Mind Institute recommends coaching him at home. The institute, a nonprofit organization that offers parenting advice, suggests talking to kids about sharing, taking turns and making a guest feel welcome. For information about building social skills and overcoming social anxiety, check out childmind.org/article/kids-who-need-a-little-help-to-make-friends.
-Melissa Kossler Dutton