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Should I be concerned if my child doesn't have many friends?

In elementary school, children begin selectively choosing their friends. Parents help this process by asking their child about his or her playmates at school, actively networking with other parents and arranging one-on-one time for the children. Chemistry between children and shared interests are good starting points for a lasting friendship. Once a child has singled out another child, they will gradually develop a reciprocal relationship with each other and consider themselves equals. Parents should not worry about how many friends their child has. Quality is more important than quantity.

One best friend may leave a child isolated and dependent; having a few close friends will help a child feel less lonely as a young adult. Parents should also help their child practice their social cues by encouraging their child to approach another child, share mutual interests and foster lasting connections.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.