HomeHealth & BehaviorSocial Skills

Summertime social for tykes

Top tips on helping little ones learn how to recognize and be a good friend.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Beyond manners

Whether summertime means languorous days at the beach or full-time camp, the months away from a regular routine offer kids a chance to boost a vital set of skills: Making and keeping strong friendships.

What’s that, you say? Don’t kids just know how to make friends? Not necessarily. Between school and after-school activities, children’s time is far more structured than in days past. As a result, kids today have fewer opportunities to practice the social skills needed for being — and making — a good friend.

Strong social skills include everything from having empathy and showing an interest in others to starting a conversation, giving compliments, and taking turns. And summer is the perfect time for youngsters to practice these skills and build their confidence in the process — all of which will help when they return to school in the fall.

Here are some simple steps to build on your kids' friendship skills:

Comments from readers

"On vacation time kids and specially teens expect to do the things they never did before.It´s here the right moment to be part of their leisure time by planning family visits or camp outings which involve parents or relatives. Teens are always ready to make friends without preventing any risk. Parents ´ll be always ready to give some advise in case they get to know new friends. "