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Why should I help my child make friends?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Research from Concordia University, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Vermont puts the importance of helping our children learn friendship-making skills up a notch.

The three-year study, reported in the journal Development and Psychopathology, involved a total of 130 girls and 101 boys in the third and fifth grades. It found that peers typically reject those kids with poorer social skills or perceived as overly aggressive or immature.

Researchers also found that friends can serve as a form of protection against sadness for our kids. Put another way, your child's pals can protect at-risk children from depression and anxiety.

Lead author, William M. Bukowski, states: "The long-term effects of being a withdrawn child are enduringly negative. Over time, we found that withdrawn kids showed increasing levels of sadness and higher levels of depressive feelings. Having one friend can be protective for withdrawn or shy kids. Our study confirms the value of having friends, which are like a shield against negative social experiences."

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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.