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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 11/19/08

How can I help my child make friends?

Children learn so much when they start school, but one of the most important lessons is how to make and keep friends. For some kids, this skill comes naturally. Others, however, need some help. Supervised play dates are the best way to foster friendships among young children. If a parent observes unusual play behaviors during a play date, it is advisable to consult with a psychologist, as a lack of play skills is one of the main signs for Asperger’s Syndrome.

In the Jewish Community

Friends are important for all people of every religion and culture. Since Jewish children spend unusually long hours in school from a young age, it is important for parents to remember to schedule occasional play dates for their children. As children get older, they start to choose friends on their own without getting their parents approval first. Parents should never be unreasonably prejudiced toward their children’s friends but should monitor the friendships nevertheless to ensure that the friend’s only influence is positive.

Use the following links to learn how to help your child make friends. Find out why your child may have difficulty developing friendships and what to do if you do not approve of your child’s friends.

Frequently Asked Links

What does it mean to be a friend?

Why are friends important?

When are kids ready for friends?

Why do cliques make kids feel left out?

How can I help my child deal with cliques?

Can parents teach children how to make friends?

What can I do to help my child make friends? more

How can I encourage my child to develop friendships in elementary school?

How can I schedule a successful play date for my child?

Why does my child have trouble making friends?

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

What should I do if I do not approve of my child’s friends?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community

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Mental Health Resources for the Jewish Community

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Boys & Girls Clubs of America
The mission of this group is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.

BAM! Body and Mind
This CDC website is designed for 9- to 13-year-olds and addresses health, nutrition, fitness, and stress. It also offers games for kids., developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.

American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.

CDC: Learn the Signs. Act Early
The CDC has launched a campaign to help parents recognize the milestones kids should reach in how they play, learn, speak, and act, between birth and the time they are 5 years old. If parents learn the milestones, they will be able to spot any developmental problems, and get their kids any help they may need.

Autism Society of America (ASA)
The mission of ASA is to promote lifelong access and opportunities for persons within the autism spectrum and their families.

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