Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Parent to Parent: Friendships
Young or old, a good friend can be hard to find. But some children struggle cultivating relationships with the right crowd. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Valerie shows us how to help your kids make a connection with their peers.
WSVN -- In the movies, it seems easy, but making friends takes some work.
Just ask real-life buddies 11-year-olds Amanda Lynch and Natalie Gonzalez Abreu.
These sixth graders have been best pals since kindergarten.
Amanda Lynch: "Natalie was crying, and I came up to Natalie and said, 'Are you OK?' and she goes, 'Yes.' And I go, 'You want to be my friend?'"
But for many children, finding a friend isn't easy.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "We want to develop in our children the ability to have a long-lasting friendship or to know when to leave a friendship. There's all kinds of skills you learn in having a relationship."
You can do that by joining a playgroup or inviting other kids to your house.
Dr. Valerie says the secret is to instill good values in your children.
This way, they'll hopefully feel more comfortable around other kids with the same beliefs.
Dr. Valerie: "We tend to gravitate towards people like us. You know, that like to do the same things, have similar values."
If, on the other hand, you have older children, and you dislike their peers, don't forbid the friendships.
Teenagers especially can hang out with the wrong crowd as a sign of rebellion.
Instead, what you should do is invite their friends over.
Dr. Valerie: "I embraced whatever child my children were friends with, because that way I had them right there. They were in my home. I bought lots of soda, and I had lots of pizza in my house. So I made sure that my home was open to these children."
As for Amanda and Natalie, they've developed a special bond.
They are planning on being BFF's -- that is Best-Friends-Forever.
Natalie Gonzalez Abreu: "I really think we will be best friends for a very long time."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 S.W. 62 Avenue
Miami, FL 33143