Friendship Skills

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friendship skills

Photo by Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo

Just like learning reading, writing, and math children must sometimes learn the art of making friends. Making friends is a complex social skill which can take lots of practice. The main friendship making skills according to Elaine K. McEwan are:

Conversational Skills

  • Meeting New People
  • Introducing two people who don’t know each other
  • Starting a conversation (entering a group)
  • Listening to a conversation
  • Keeping a conversation going
  • Waiting your turn to say something
  • Ending a conversation


    Skills for Interacting with Peers

  • Sharing
  • Compromising
  • Handling being teased
  • Saying No
  • Joining a group
  • Letting people know what you think and believe even with disagreement
  • Handling peer pressure
  • Giving a compliment
  • Accepting a compliment
  • Apologizing
  • Playing group game or activity
  • Handle being left out
  • Handing someone asking you to do something you cant because you don’t know how
  • Seeking Help from Peers
  • Asking a question
  • Saying Thank You
  • Keeping a secret
  • Disagreeing

    Skills for Controlling Emotions

  • Identifying and expressing emotions
  • Handling other peoples anger
  • Handling your own anger
  • Handling other people’s failure
  • Handing your own failure
  • Handing losing
  • Expressing affection
  • Dealing fear
  • Rewarding yourself
  • Using self-control
  • Handing embarrassment
  • Accepting no


    Consider these skills when talking to your child about making friends. Explain, model, and practice the skill together. Once you feel they have a good grasp on the concept encourage them to go into the "real world" and give it a shot! Be sure to debrief with them afterwards and offer specific advice to help them hone this skill set.