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Most school-age children feel driven to "make it" in the world away from home. Making friends and being accepted become top priorities.
School is a testing ground where children evaluate, accept, and reject each other daily. At times, parents cringe at the degree to which children try to fit in and are often saddened by their children's many ups and downs. Parents often see children's interactions as cruel, and they can be. But through these encounters, children learn some of the basic social skills needed to be competent adults. Be prepared for the tumultuous nature of friendships in this age group, and do not exaggerate the importance of the rough periods.
There is no one easy formula for teaching social skills. People learn through watching parents, friends, and others interact over a lifetime. Although bullying or abusive behavior should be addressed, parents should be sensitive about when to get involved and try to let children work out issues on their own.
Here are some crucial skills that will help your child become more socially competent:
Around age 9, many children successfully form close friendships. Forming these relationships helps children develop sensitivity to the feelings of others.
Other Works Consulted
Newman BM, Newman PR (2012). Middle childhood (6 to 11 years). In Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach, 11th ed., pp. 288-332. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD, MPH - PediatricsKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental PediatricsSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofMarch 28, 2018
Current as of:
March 28, 2018
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
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