It’s back-to-school time with children returning to school. There will be old friends for them to laugh and talk with and new friendships to build. Of course, there will be times when there are squabbles. What do you as a parent do when your child comes to you with a complaint? You likely remember the times when you were a child and what happened to you. Perhaps you have upsetting memories of quarrels that you do not want your child to experience. Some expert advice can help you now that you are a parent to handle these squabbles.
Many experts agree that instead of going immediately to the other child’s parents to lodge a complaint, there are several other actions that you can take. First, listen to what your child has to say. Ask questions. Be empathetic to what your child has experienced. Try to get the full account of what happened.
Second, encourage your child to standup for herself. After finding out what happened, ask your child “Did you stand up for yourself?” This does not involve your child saying anything that is rude or derogatory but does involve her not putting up with someone else’s bad behavior. Try role-playing with your child so that she can learn how to react and respond differently in the future. You should not be the one fighting your children’s battles for them unless it is necessary.
Third, help your children learn the differences between healthy and unhealthy friendships. Ture friendships are built on trust and respect. When a “friend” crosses the line, your child should know what to do.
Fourth and perhaps most important, be there for your children to talk to. Let them know that you are always available to talk and help them understand what has happened and not be judgmental.
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