FriendshipRelationshipsWellbeing

Friendships: how to help your child navigate the ups and downs

Some children thrive in the playground and navigate their social life with great ease. For other kids, schoolyard friendships are tricky and traumatic.

So at what point do you step in, and what should you do to support your child’s friendships, without making everything worse?

We’ve compiled some of the latest resources from parenting educators about this very common parenting dilemma.

Podcasts

“How to help your child make friends” – Parental as Anything ABC Podcast. In this episode, released on March 4, 2020, Maggie Dent talks to writer and teen/tween champion Rebecca Sparrow and parent educator Claire Orange about “what you can do as a parent to help your kids navigate the often-tricky world of friendships”. Allow about 35 minutes for this episode.

“Helping kids find their tribe” – Happy Families Podcast. In this 10 minute podcast from October 2019, Dr Justin Coulson discusses three things you can do to help your children find their ‘tribe’.

Blogs and Articles on supporting positive friendships

“School-age friendships: how to support them”. This article by Australian parenting website raisingchildren.net.au is written for parents of 5-8 year-olds.

“Teenage friends and friendships”. For parents of 9-18 year-olds.

“Friends and friendships: 10 frequently asked questions”: This piece tackles FAQs such as “My child says ‘no-one likes me’: what can I do” and “My child doesn’t get invited to many parties and playdates: should I be worried”.

“6 Friendship lessons for girls”. This blog by Rebecca Sparrow contains six great tips that you can share with your daughter. “Learning how to navigate friendships is a tricky road and often a lifelong process,” she writes.

“How to make friends at school” and “What makes a good friend” are on the ReachOut.com website and include tips for kids on how to make lasting friends.

The Kids Helpline website has some great (short) online resources specifically written for younger children on topics such “Fights with friends” and “Making friends”. They also have longer resources specifically for teens, on the same topics: “Making friends” and “Fights with friends”.

Articles on “toxic” friendships

“Frenemies and toxic friendships”. This piece by Australian parenting website raisingchildren.net.au discusses how to help your child if they are affected by a toxic friendship.

“Toxic Friendships” by Clare Orange explores the complications of friendships and the signs of a “toxic” friendship.

“Dealing with a toxic friendship” is on the ReachOut.com website and contains some great practical advice for kids.