Friendship Skills for Kids: How to Help Your Child
Do your kids need friendship skills? If so, our parenting skills expert, Dr. Donna Volpitta, is here with advice from her popular book, The Resilience Formula. She'll share scripts for coaching your child that can help him make friends. Including others, sharing, and compromising are three areas where she'll help you with scripts that work.
Scripts for Making Friends
One of Dr. Donna's talents is scripting, teaching your child what to say. Her dialogues include questions that help your kids think. For instance, your goal for your toddler is "to simply get her to play near one another, not with one another." You might say, "Can you say, "Hi, I'm Lilly?" Then Dr. Donna suggests you ask your Lilly to show the other child her toy.
Toddlers find sharing difficult. Dr. Donna advises you to help toddlers take very short turns and teach them to ask questions like, "Sarah, can I have a turn please?"
Dr. Donna also gives scripting suggestions for teaching your child how to include others and how to compromise. In fact, she has easy scripts for you to use with your preschoolers, elementary, middle school, and teenage children. Each script takes into account your child's developmental age.
Sample Scripts for Making Friends
Suggest your elementary child say, "Can I play with you guys?" Or, "Hey, Sarah come swing with us."
Suggest to tweens and teens to bring a snack when they study together. Or ask friend to find time to show her something.
Dr. Donna adds more depth to these suggestions in her book. She believes that teaching kids to be proactive increases their chances for making friends.
Three Scripting Goals for Parents
1. Help children know what they can say, not just what they can't say.
When you use scripts that teach your child what to say, he'll be better equipped to handle himself well.
2. Give children power to control their play but also teach the skills to do it right.
This can be a delicate balance but if you keep this goal in mind you'll be wiser about when and how to script.
3. Teach kids to stick up for themselves while caring about others' feelings.
Scripting can help your kids know the best words to use for both caring about others and sticking up for themselves. (Pages 111- 131)
I like how Dr. Donna shows parents exactly how to use scripting throughout her book. She offers simple dialogues you can easily use to help your child make friends. When children learn to share, include others, and compromise, they possess skills that will help them throughout their lives.
Let's APPRECIATE Dr. Donna's work with parents and children. Dr. Volpitta is a former classroom teacher with experience in both general and special education. She holds a doctoral degree in Learning Dis/Abilities from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has four children.
Pick up a copy of her book, The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive Not Reactive Parenting and learn the scripts for successful parenting.
Available on Amazon.com
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