“What that says to me is the child is not taking any responsibility for his social interaction,” says parenting expert and author Betsy Brown Braun. “You can say, ‘Really? Tell me about that. Were you lonely today? What can we do about that?’ You don’t want to be too lecture-y. They won’t hear you,” she says. “Your job is to be a container for your child. You want him to feel comfortable. Sometimes just telling you is what’s most important. It’s just getting it all out. Then you can go back to him in an hour and say, ‘Are you still feeling funky about that? When I was little and no one was playing with me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, what are you playing?’”

Here’s how 4 other parenting experts say to respond…


YouTube video

Madeline Levine
“Don’t jump in too fast!” warns Madeline Levine, author of Teach Your Children Well. Instead, take this approach so your child learns to navigate friendships. Format: Video (1:33)

Jane Nelsen
The bestselling author of Positive Discipline says parents do their kids a disservice by trying to fix the problem. You help them far more by teaching them to help themselves. Format: Article

YouTube video

Sh*tty Moms
“Aww, suck it up,” says Alicia Ybarbo. “It’s your fault,” says Mary Ann Zoellner. The co-authors of Sh*tty Mom agree that with this complaint, tough love is in order. Format: Video (1:28)

Erica Reischer
We desperately want to fix it, says parent coach and psychologist Erica Reischer, but take care not to hinder your child’s emotional growth. Format: Article