This isn’t to say you should step in and work everything out for your child. You might, however, point out that there are two sides to every story. Or you could say, "Why don’t you wait a day or two and invite your friend back over?" suggests Newman.
5. Let Your Child Choose Friends That Fit
Friendships can expand your child’s view of the world. That might mean, for instance, that he hangs out with a child from a family whose religion is different from your own. Unless your child is in danger, it's a good idea to give your children room to make their own friends. "Our goal in educating our children is helping them make their own choices," says Turner.
If you feel a friendship is putting your child at risk, however, step in. You may talk with the school to find out more about your child’s friend. You may share your concerns with your child and tell him you need to be around any time he’s together with this friend. Or you may tell him not to spend time with that kid, period. Just be aware that ultimatums are hard to enforce, so say this only if you really mean it.
6. Keep an Eye Out for Teasing or Bullying
Teasing is often a part of childhood play, but as kids go from toddlerhood to the tweens, it can become more harmful. "My tolerance for teasing goes down as kids reach the ages of 6, 7, or 8," says Turner. "More negative self-esteem can come out of it."
Teasing can easily cross the line into bullying. It's normal for very young children to occasionally hit or shove each other. You can help your child understand how her words or actions might hurt another child's feelings. Let your child know that in your family, people don't treat others like that. Nor do they let themselves be treated badly by others.
Of course, it's difficult to know how and when to intervene. You might want to first talk to your child and ask how he’s feeling, just be careful what words you use. "Avoid saying, ‘was anybody mean to you today?’" advises Newman. "What you’re doing is causing your child to focus on his attacks and people not liking him."
If your child was hit or threatened, however, it's fine to contact the other child's parents. Be nice and try to get them on your side. Together, you may be able to help the children resolve their differences and remain friends.
7. Offer Alternatives to Popularity
Not being part of the popular crowd can feel like rejection on a grand scale. Starting around age 9 or 10, kids become sensitive to what others think of them. Unfortunately, you can’t change your child’s popularity status. You can, however, listen to her concerns and talk about your childhood misadventures. "As a parent, this is where your own stories of rejection might be helpful," says Newman.