CAT | Advice
One of the goals for publishing Nobody Likes Me was to help with children’s self esteem. I found a great article dealing with a sensitive and common problem for children of early elementary school age. It’s wonderful advice that I hope you find helpful!
Nobody Likes Me: Helping Children Make Friends
by Lisa M. Cope
It’s a heartbreaker. Your child comes home from school one day and says he doesn’t have any friends and that nobody likes him – the dreaded words no parent wants to hear. You’ve been there; you know how cruel it can be on the playground and how quickly friendships seem to come and go throughout life. You want to wrap up your little guy and protect him from the world and most of all, you want to ensure that he has plenty of friends.
As much as you’d like to step in, you simply can’t make friends for him. You can, however, give him the tools he needs to be social and to be a good friend. Every child is born with an innate need to attach or be in a relationship, but how he goes about forming those relationships depends largely on his temperament. Children can start to develop real friendships around the age of four or five. When everything goes smoothly, it can be exhilarating and great. But when you see your child hitting some bumps in the road to having his own “B.F.F.,” you can help.
According to Denise Salin, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Parent Educator, you don’t want to push. “Some children, especially younger elementary school age ones, need help developing social skills such as empathy, problem-solving, negotiating, cooperation and communication skills” before they are comfortable making friends. “If an elementary aged child does not seem to want to make friends, it’s important to try and get an understanding of what may be going on.”
To support the development of friendships in your child’s life, try some of these techniques: