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Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

The Balancing Act. Work/Life Tips Printer Friendly Version

Support Your Child's Social Success

If you're concerned that your son or daughter is having trouble fitting in, you're not alone. Whether your child's at the HEIGHT of popularity or is socially struggling, anxiety about their social well-being is part and parcel of parenting. In their book, Best Friends, Worst Enemies (Ballantine Publishing Group, 2001), Michael Thomspon, PhD and Catherine O'Neill Grace offer ten helpful tips to help your children survive and succeed in their social scene.

  1. Don't worry so much. Remember that you gave your child a sociable start in life.
    Recognize your children's social capabilities. Most kids are ready and able to meet new social challenges as they occur. Consider whether your child has an age-appropriate grasp of the basics for their age but don't place too much pressure on them by setting the social mark too high.
  2. Recognize the crucial difference between friendship and popularity. Friendship is more important.
    Friendships are the key to your child's social success. They're what get kids through hardships and what HEIGHTen their triumphs. If too much emphasis is put on popularity, your child could end up feeling inferior.
  3. Support children's friendships.
    Many parents are too busy or self-absorbed -especially at critical times of change, such as a move-to help foster friendship building. Gently encourage your children to explore new friendships. Be a model of hospitality and ease your child's pressure by socializing with friends and neighbours who have similarly-aged children.
  4. Make your child's friends welcome in your home.
    Create a safe place for your children to build relationships and learn to be a gracious host. Connect with your child's friends without butting in, offering compliments and letting them know their friendship is valued.
  5. Be a good friendship role model and teacher.
    If you're a loyal, dedicated friend to others, then some of this amiable charm is likely to rub off on your son or daughter. Encourage your children to support their friends' activities and interests, for example by attending their chums' baseball games, performances, etc.
  6. Provide a wide range of friendship and group opportunities.
    Involve your kids in social gatherings that cross generations and cultural boundaries. This kind of exposure opens their minds to different ways of thinking and HEIGHTens your children's conversational skills.
  7. Make friends with the parents of your child's friends (and enemies).
    Don't wait for a conflict to arise before getting to know your children's friends and enemies. Reach out at your children's soccer games, parent-teacher nights, etc. and talk to other parents. This creates a positive base and helps you remain impartial when conflicts between children arise.
  8. Empathize with your child's social pain, but keep it in perspective.
    If your child is the victim of bullying then discuss the matter with his teacher and school authorities immediately. However, predisposed empathy for our children, combined with a tendency to relive our own childhood misfortunes, can create potential for distortion. Most kids heal fast and reconcile with friends more quickly than the adults around them. Recognize the difference between a minor conflict and a major crisis and respond accordingly.
  9. Know where your child stands in the group.
    The 'pecking order' can greatly influence your child's development. If your child is in trouble socially, step in to help. If your child is popular or accepted, help him/her become a positive moral leader.

  10. Take the long view.
    View your child's socialization from a broad perspective. Though a current situation might seem like a major crisis, it's important to have a grasp of the bigger picture. The here and now is just a speck on the map of your child's lifelong development.

Need more information on parenting? Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help with a child to elder care resource and referral service that is geared toward enhancing the quality of family life. Call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see if you are eligible for the child to elder care resource and referral service at 1 866.468.9461 or 1.800.387.4765.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

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