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Summertime social for kids

Top tips on teaching children how to recognize and be a good friend.

By GreatSchools Staff

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What's a friend anyway?

Don’t assume your children know what being a good friend entails. Talk about taking turns, sharing, helping and showing an interest in others and how these will help peers and classmates feel good and want to spend time with them. If you see examples of others doing these things, point them out to your children. “See how that girl let her friend have a turn with the jump rope? That’s a nice thing to do for a friend.”

Comments from readers

"Good tips about youngers to take into account. Most schools face difficulties on how to rule or help teenagers` behavior. "
"My 9 yr old son had met a child two years ago at a neighborhood picnic where they had a blast hanging out and participating in the days events together. He has seen this child in the neighborhood but they hadn't played together until a few weeks ago when this child decided to join my son and a few closer neighbors to a game of baseball. Within a few minutes of playing this other child began to tell him 'you suck', 'you're lame', etc. After my sons own 'friend' didn't stick up for him and even began to embarrass him by catching balls quicker, my son decided to come home without sticking up for himself. After he explained all of this to me I told him, 'You don't play baseball everyday, you're not a pro and even the pros make mistakes. It's a shame he doesn't remember how much fun you two had together at the neighborhood block party.' Gave him a big hug and told him he knows he doesn't suck and is not lame so don't let those words change who you really are. He chose not ! to go back to play still. A few weeks later we were taking a bike ride/walk and we saw this child playing with two other kids. The child saw my son first but didn't see that I was walking behind him quite a few steps. I heard the child scream, 'GO AWAY' to my child even though my child was only riding his bike down the road passed him and didn't even know he was there playing. I shot the kids an angry look but said nothing and kept walking. My son turned around on his bike in shame with his head down and said, 'Did you hear that?'. I told him 'yes' and said, 'maybe next time we see him we'll ask him what happened to him', just to make him think about that question and wonder what we might be talking about. Any better suggestions? "