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Making Friends

Some children have difficulty making and keeping friends. This can lead to sadness, worry, isolation, being bullied and even depression. One psychologist, Fred Frankel, Ph.D., has looked at what children do or do not do that contributes to their problems making friends. He has then addressed each individual behavior and developed a program to train children how to make and keep friends by learning specific new behaviors. In his book Good Friends are Hard to Find, he teaches these methods to parents in an easy to read fashion.

For example, in playing a child might tend to clown around, frequently break the rules, and not let others get a turn. He might also frequently get in arguments and stop playing when losing. After a while other children will not want to play with him. You as a parent can learn to teach the rules of being a good sport. Dr. Frankel gives very specific directions that are clear and easy to follow.

Some of the topics he covers are finding friends, making friends, keeping friends, dealing with teasing, bullying and meanness and helping your child out of trouble. More specific topics range from stopping rumors to how to deal with having friends stolen.

This book is recommended reading for the parents of children with any of the above problems. Therapists are also educated in friendship training. Some work individually with children, others work with children in groups.

Reference: Frankel, Fred, 1996. Good Friends Are Hard To Find. Los Angeles, CA: Perspective Publishing

Virginia F. Clark, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

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