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Why Does My Child Constantly Change Friends?

Friendships are important in every individual’s life, especially kids. While almost everything in their life is decided for them, i.e. school, dinner, friends are something that kids have a say in.

The concept of friends begin at babyhood, with best friends being the parents. As soon as they begin to walk, talk, and meet other kids, they also start to play with others and form other relationships. When they reach the age of eight, friends will start to take up a lot of children’s interests and even energy.

But some parents ask: why does my child seem to constantly change friends? Pediatrician Dr. Joselyn C. Eusebio, president of the Philippines Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, weighs in.

 

What can be the causes of my child constantly changing friends?

Dr. Eusebio says that there are a number of possible causes. It could be from their own behavior with friends in and out of school, or it could be the friends’ behaviors. It could be inept social skills. She also adds that there might be some potential bullying we’re not aware of, or that your child is still trying to figure out which group he or she fits right in.

 

How can I know if my child is friends with the wrong crowd?

“Talk to your child, find out their likes, hobbies, ask them how school went. An open communication with your child will give you a better idea on is happening in their lives,” Dr. Eusebio explains. She also suggests paying a visit to the child’s teachers and ask for their observation. They can give you a perspective on how your child is at school, which kids he or she gets along with, so you can arrange playdates with these kids’ parents after school or during the weekends. Teachers can also give you guidance on after school activities that can encourage friendships, Dr. Eusebio adds.

 

How can I help?

If you’re reading this article, then you’ve already started helping your child. As mentioned above, the key is to be in communication with your child. Show them your support during a time when they’re figuring out where they want to be and what circle they belong to. If your child seems upset, or suddenly spends time alone when usually very social, ask about it.

According to KidsHealth.org, it’s best to share your own experiences with friends when you were young to help your child understand what he or she may be going through. If he or she tells you something related to being teased or bullied, try to shed some light to him or her on social dynamics: how people are often judged by the way a person looks, acts, or dresses, but that often people act mean and put others down because they lack self-confidence and try to cover it up by maintaining control.

If, during your discussions with your child or his or her teacher, you find out that he or she is a part of a group who is in the business of teasing or rejecting others, you may want to address that right away. Foster your child’s kindness, respect, and compassion for others.

As parents, we also need to remind our kids know that more than being part of a popular clique, making true friends is important. True friends are people they can trust, confide in, and laugh with. And the best people to be friends are those who are respectful, fair, supportive, caring, and kind.

 

Additional references:

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age. Wyeth Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your doctor or health authority.