Friendship is an important part of a child’s development and an essential aspect of their school experience. It is inevitable that over the course of their life, your child is sure to have lots of uncomfortable experiences with different school mates and although it’s not easy to witness, it’s important to help them learn how to deal with conflict and how to cope with emotional distress. I have teamed up with a preparatory school in Middlesex to help parents understand how to help their children effectively when they’re experiencing friendship problems.
It’s important that you are there for your child as a shoulder to cry on should they need one. They may need to talk through their friendship problems with you simply to process it, so make sure you are available to listen. Try your best to empathise with them so that they feel heard and understood. This will also strengthen your relationship with them.
Ask your child lots of questions about the problems and offer your own insights. They will much prefer hearing anecdotes from your own experiences to help them deal with the situation rather than listening to a lecture. Give them as much advice as you can but trust them to proceed as they wish rather than telling them what to do. When they are ready, they will approach the situation and come to some sort of resolution.
If you are truly concerned about your child’s friendship problems at school and feels like it may have progressed to a bullying problem, don’t hesitate to contact their form tutors or another form of pastoral care.