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Good Friends Are Hard To Find: Help Your Child Find, Make and Keep Friends

by Fred FrankelPerspective Publishing; $13.95

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With humor, patience, and common sense, Frankel provides adoptive parents with step-by-step guidance for teaching children interpersonal skills that are crucial to making and keeping friends: problem solving, learning how to play fair, making positive choices, and dealing with bullies, meanness, and teasing.

Good Friends Are Hard to Find also challenges parents to look at their role in their childrenís friendships. How many hours a week does your child have available to make close friends? Probably not as many as you think. For example, while sports can help children build team skills and get exercise, they are not, in Frankelís view, a good way to make friends. When your child is participating in a sport, he or she needs to listen to the coach and pay attention to teammates, not make playdates.

Frankel discusses how to choose the right activity for your child. For example, a child who needs one-on-one attention would not do well in organized scouting activities. A better alternative would be to organize playdates with individual children. Frankel also shares helpful suggestions for structuring supportive playdates.

I have used some of Frankelís ideas for helping one of my children learn to have fun, not worry about winning, and lose gracefully. The step-by-step approach has helped her develop some needed skills and understand what it takes to be a good friend.

óBy JoAnne Solchany, Ph.D., ARNP, an adoptive mother of two and a child psychotherapist.

Copyright 2002 Adoptive Families magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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