Social Skills

Whether your child is super-shy, a bit socially awkward, or a social butterfly, get advice to help her thrive. Learn about kids' social skills and development, and signs of problems.

6 Questions to Ask Before Getting Your Child a Cell Phone

At what age should you get your child a cell phone? According to PewResearch Center, the average age is between 12 and 13, but when to get your child a cell phone is a personal decision, and can vary from kid to kid based on maturity and need. Before you decide to add your child to your family plan, ask yourself these questions. read more

7 Tips to Childproof Your Smartphone

Raise your hand if your child thinks your phone is just another one of her toys. We all know the feeling! Smartphones can be a great source for educational entertainment for children, but let's face it — curious kids have the uncanny ability to find inappropriate apps and websites. Plus, sticky fingers, spilled juice, and accidental tumbles mean your device can take a beating. Before you hand over your smartphone or tablet, follow these tips to help keep both your child and your device safe. read more

8 Quick Tips for Curbing Your Family's Screen Time

It's dinner time and everyone in your family is nose-down, glued to their phones and mobile devices, rather than making good ol'-fashioned eye contact. Sound familiar? Setting limits on screen time — and remembering to put down our own devices and connect with our kids face-to-face — is one of the biggest parenting challenges of our time. Studies show that two-thirds of children ages 8 to 10 say that their parents have "no rules" on the time they spend with media. read more

Adult Interference

Whenever possible, it's always healthier to let kids work out their differences without the intervention of adults/parents. read more

Affectionate Five-Year-Old

A mother worries that her five-year-old's displays of affection toward his friends are inappropriate. read more

Anti-Social Behavior

Find ways to encourage a child to be more social. read more

Assembly Programs

Learn how to find assembly programs that address social skills, for your child's elementary school. read more

Being Popular

It's a good idea to have conversations with a child about what it means to be popular. Girls in their early teens often worry too much about popularity. read more

Best Friend, or Worst?

Is your child's best friend a negative influence? read more

Bossiness

Bossiness can keep a child from making friends. read more

Boys and Their Friends

Boys and Their Friends Boys, like girls, crave connection and belonging. Like all of us, boys need friends, suffer when they don't believe they have any, and agonize over the ups and downs of relationships. Many adults believe that somehow boys need friends less than girls do; the myth of the stoic male has intruded even into childhood. read more

Can I Help My Ten-Year-Old Make Friends?

By expanding a child's social universe, parents can increase her chances of meeting new kids and making friendships. read more

Cell Phone Etiquette

Cell Phone Etiquette Cell phones have been compared to pacifiers for adults. They make people think they are connected to a vital source of informational nourishment. It seems to me that the most insecure and/or boastful people are the ones who are most loud and ostentatious about using their cell phones. read more

Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: A Valid Concern?

Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: A Valid Concern? Since the 1990s, cell phones have been a daily accessory for most Americans. More than 82 percent of Americans, or 250 million people, now have a cell phone. That number is more than quadruple the number in 1997, when a mere 55 million Americans laid claim to owning one. read more

Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed?

Should cell phones be allowed in school? A 2010 Pew Research Center study found that 65 percent of cell-owning teens bring their phones to school despite any bans that may be in place. Most schools now allow students to have cell phones but require them to be turned off during class because they can be disruptive and distracting. read more

Children and Gift Giving

Children and Gift Giving If a child wants to give a teacher a gift at Christmas or Hanukkah, on a birthday, or at the end of the school year, the gift should not be extravagant. In fact, encourage your child to get the class to offer a gift together. If, however, it is from a single child, a small token— perhaps something handmade—is appropriate. The gift should be wrapped and accompanied by a card. read more

Cliques and Fitting In

Cliques and Fitting In(Brought to you by National PTA) A Chicago mom confesses that her beautiful sixth-grade daughter cries in her room nightly, afraid she won't look right tomorrow and she will lose her standing in her group at school. A teacher in Lake Placid, New York, reports that her smart 13-year-old son announced, "Mom, I'm going to fail that science test tomorrow. I just have to, or I won't have any friends." read more

Curing Low Self-Esteem

The best way to help a child with low self-esteem is to get him involved in social activities. read more

Dad Wants Son to Fight

Some fathers think their sons should be men and fight to resolve problems. read more

Daughter Has No Close Friends

If a child is physically attractive, makes excellent grades, and is liked by her peers, does it matter that she has no close friends, or any one special friend? read more

Daughter Ignored by Best Friend

This is one of the normal and very painful developmental experiences of young teens. read more

Daughter Spends Too Much Time Alone

What can you do to encourage a child to make real friends and take part in social activities? read more

Daughter Wants a Best Friend

Children can get upset when they don't have a "best" friend. You can help. read more

Daughter Wants to Hang Out at the Mall

Is it unreasonable to forbid an 11-year-old from hanging out at the mall unsupervised with kids you don't know well, and/or without the presence of an adult? read more

Dealing with Bad News Gracefully

Dealing with Bad News Gracefully More often than we'd like to think, and often when we least expect it, people we know end up getting fired, going into bankruptcy, having accidents, getting indicted, and experiencing the death of a loved one. read more

Dealing with Puppy Love

At age 10, kids are usually involved in best friend relationships, not in exclusive boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. read more

Dealing with the Disabled

Dealing with the Disabled Here are 10 practical tips that will help you avoid feeling socially disabled when dealing with the disabled: Mind Your P's and Q's Remember, everything is relative: Some disabled writers have referred to nondisabled persons in general as TABs, for “temporarily able-bodied.” read more

Dealing with the Visually Impaired

Dealing with the Visually Impaired In general, guide dogs are working animals, not pets. So don't pet them. In fact, don't call their names or distract them in any way. Allow the dogs to accompany their owners into all stores and buildings. These dogs are trained to pay no attention to strangers while working except as objects to be avoided. Attempting to pet them while they are in harness is like urging someone to abandon a good, carefully formed habit. read more

Delivering Criticism Smoothly

Delivering Criticism Smoothly The "Critical I" Julia is having lunch with her cousin Carla. Julia has the egg salad on whole wheat. Carla has the smoked salmon. Even with the iced tea and tip, Julia figures her bill will come in under $10. Carla says, "Let's see: $16.50 should cover your end." Julia can respond in a number of ways: read more

Does Special Ed Seventh-Grader Need More Friends?

Special education students make friends in regular school fairly easily, but make sure that the school doesn't tolerate teasing, harassing, or bullying of any kind. read more