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Keeping friends

Having opportunities to meet new people and socialise with their peers is important in helping your child make friends.

Introduction

Having opportunities to meet new people and socialise with their peers is important in helping your child make friends. Once your child has made friends, it is also important to support your child to understand how to keep them. You have an important role to help your child practice the skills they need to make and keep friends. You can also model good behaviour through your interactions with your friends.  For more information on how to teach your child what a friend is, go to Making Friends.

Remember that the number of friends that your child has is not important. One good friend will make a big difference to your child’s self-esteem and social skills.

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Conversation Starters

You seemed to get along well with the new student at your swimming class. Do you think they could be your friend?
Did you enjoy your friend’s party yesterday? What do you think you should do to show them you like being their friend?
Your classmate Lee, their mother seems nice. What do you think I should do if I want ot be her friend?

Strategies for you to try

Talk to your child about their friends

Ask them questions like:
• What do you like to do with your friends?
• What do you like about your friends?
• How do you show your friends you like them?
• What should you do if you have an argument with your friend?
Your child can use this information to develop profiles of their friends’.
You can also talk to your child about your friends. This will help to reinforce the similarities and differences between different people and their friends.

Model good friendship behaviour with your friends

Modelling good friendship behaviour with your friends helps to show your child how they can be a good friend.
This can include modelling things like:
• sharing
• turn taking in conversation
• asking consent (e.g. consent to go to a friend’s home)
• respectful disagreement

Role play different friendship scenarios

Support your child to practice how they should act in common friendship scenarios, such as:
• planning a get together
• preparing for a get together
• what to do at a get together
• how to respond to a disagreement

trying to make friends

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Introduction to puberty for girls
Keeping friends

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