Parent's Guide: Kids and Friendship (cont.)
Kids are very sophisticated, particularly in middle-school years. The bullying is far less vicious in high school; it's more sexual harassment. Talk to your sons so they don't get suspended. School officials are taking this seriously, also.
The goal to teaching friendship skills is teach one at a time and keep adding until your child can get along without you.
First, know that this is one of the most painful topics. Nobody Likes Me has a chapter called Too Sensitive , and the trick is first teach her "switch on, switch off." Practice helping her see what an upset face looks like and a relaxed face looks like. Show her magazine pictures, your face, TV characters, and practice with her so she knows how to make her face look not so upset. Why? Because some kids pick on children who are more vulnerable.
You can also teach her things to say to a friendly teaser. For instance, a shrug of the shoulder makes her look like it doesn't bother her. An assertive "so," or a simple "thanks for sharing" said sarcastically work for kids who aren't as likely to be teased.
Being sensitive is a wonderful trait, but can sometimes get in the way of friendship making. So over the next few years, gradually help her learn how to deal with teasers so she's not as likely to be so hurt.
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