The Secret to Making Friends for 8- to 10-Year-Olds

Tween friendships are more complex now. Your job: Teach your child how to manage her expectations.
By Ilisa Cohen

Ages

8-10

The Secret to Making Friends for 8- to 10-Year-Olds


When your child enters her tween years, friendships can become more complex. Your job: Teach your child how to manage her expectations. Here's how:

Work on jealousy
Stakes are higher now and friendships become more complex. Your child may grapple with competing  emotions: wanting friends to celebrate her successes while sometimes feeling envious of theirs.

The good news? Kids this age become better at seeing situations from other people’s perspective. And that means you can help her learn what’s reasonable to expect from others — and how to handle it when those expectations aren’t met.
 

How You Can Help
Show him how to swap places. If your child is having trouble being empathetic, ask him: “If you were going to Alaska, would you want to hear Gus complain?” That way, he can practice thinking in advance about how his actions affect others.

Get her to move on. Say your girl is upset because her pal skipped a sleepover to go hang with another classmate. First, let her know it’s okay to be disappointed. Then ask if she wants to hash it out with her friend or do something else to feel better. Just don’t let her hold a grudge since it may set her up to overreact to small setbacks. The message to send: Friendships are valuable and a good pal shouldn’t get the boot because she slipped up.

Read about it. Help your tween find stories that explore the ups and downs of palling around. Some good suggestions: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, and The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech.

 

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