Figuring out popularity can be a source of anxiety for kids and their parents. New research shows that having intimate friendships and much more rewarding in the long run, leading to higher self-esteem as well as a lower risk for developing depression.
“Having one good friend is enough to protect against loneliness and to help bolster self-esteem and academic engagement,” says Cynthia Erdley, a professor of psychology at the University of Maine. Dr. Erdley continues “students who feel a sense of belonging don’t have to worry as much about what’s going on socially in the classroom, so they can save those cognitive resources to focus on their school work instead.”
How can you help your kids develop their social skills?
- Teach them how to speak to people – practice conversations with your kids that encourage them to engage and return the questions.
- Teach them how to read people – they need to learn how to read nonverbal cues and body language. Research has shown that kids who aren’t in front of a screen all day are better at facial recognition. As a parent, limiting screen time and having them engage with other people can help
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