It can be really distressing to see your child struggle with friendship difficulties, particularly younger children who are not so adept at expressing their feelings and understanding the motivations of others. Encouraging them to talk about their experiences and interactions can be a big step towards them developing the skills they will need to manage friendships throughout their life but how can we, as parents, best go about this?
Becky Goddard – Hill, a parenting author and one of my favourite bloggers, who is also a qualified psychotherapist has developed a great resource to help children who are experiencing friendship problems.
Becky explained “Friendships are absolutely crucial to our happiness and they can be wonderful. They can also be complicated and at times difficult and upsetting. Having healthy friendships and knowing how to make them the best they can be is really important. We all need skills to help us develop and manage friendships yet we are expecting children to naturally be able to do this. It isn’t that’s simple.”
To help start those tricky chats, Becky joined forces with Fink Cards, an award winning conversation company and the result is Healthy Friendships, a pack of 48 conversations cards. This a simple but brilliant idea.
The cards can be used at home, at school and in youth groups and they present questions which can be easily modified to suit all age groups and are in four colour coded categories
- Thinking about friendships you have right now
- How to make friends
- How to be a good friend
- How to manage friendships difficulties
There are lots of different ways to use the cards. We’ve had a pack for a week or so now and are using one or two a day to prompt conversations after school but you could also, for example, set aside a big block of time to sit down as a family and go through a lot in one go or pick one in the morning for the kids to think about during the day and then discuss it on the way home from school later. Whatever approach you think will get the best interaction from your kids. In addition to the conversation cards, the pack also contains guidance for parents, teachers and carers on how to use the cards. Available from Fink Cards at only £14.99 this resource will be available from the 22nd February.