When your child is with her pals, most of the time it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Smiles and laughter prevail, and the kids play, run, and share. Hopefully, things are like this all or most of the time, but eventually, one of your child’s friends may not be having the best day. Perhaps something happened during the school day that put her in a negative mood, she has trouble at home, she got some bad or sad news, or something else happened to make her feel down in the dumps.
Kids may not know how to react or what to do if their friend is having a hard day. They may dismiss the behavior and ignore it, get worried themselves, or refrain from interacting with their friend. Not because they are uncaring or unsympathetic, but they may not know just what to do.
You can give your child some tools to help their friend cheer up. A little advice can go a long way for a child who is put in the position of helping a friend in need. Rather than feeling scared or awkward, your child can be a shoulder to cry on and a bright spot in their friend’s otherwise miserable day.
If your child notices that her friend seems down, advise her to tell her friend that she would like to know why she’s sad. She is there to listen, learn, and understand. Your child may not have the answers or a way to make things better, but an open ear and a comforting friend may just help her pal get out of her funk and on the way to a brighter tomorrow. Knowing someone is there to listen and care is important for someone who is having a rough day.
An arm around the neck, holding hands, or a comforting embrace can help a friend decompress and realize that your child is on their side. It shows compassion and care even if your child doesn’t know what to say or what else to do. Kids who are feeling upset can feel like they are all alone, so your child’s warmth will help to lift their spirits and help them see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Your child will become a better friend when she knows how to help a friend who is feeling down in the dumps. If ever the situation is too much for her to bear, make sure she knows to come to you or another trusted adult for assistance.
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By: Melissa A. Kay