Be Involved, Not Overbearing
All children go through many phases with their friends. Sometimes they will belong to several groups and have a lot of friends. Sometimes they will only have a close group of a few friends. And sometimes they’ll shy away from being social with anyone. Everyone has to choose their friends while they’re growing up—talk to your child to make sure that he or she makes good decisions when choosing friends.
Ask your child why she likes her friends. If she says she doesn’t know, ask her to think about it for a couple days and bring up the subject again later. Getting her to think about why she has the friends she does can help her make good decisions now and in the future.
Try Reasoning- Similarly, if your child stops spending time with a friend or a group, ask about it. Keep in mind that some of your child’s reasons, such as “He picked me last when we played basketball at recess,” may sound silly to you, but they are very serious to your child—you can try to reason with him, but do so gently.
Use Your Friendships- Talk to your child about the friendships you’ve had—why certain ones have lasted a long time, why others didn’t work out, and what you like about your friends.
Talk About Priorities- Ask your child what she values in a friendship, and tell her what you value. You may find that your priorities in finding friends are very different.