Helping children relate to others

  • socialDon’t assume that every child needs friends. Some children, such as those on the autistic spectrum, need time alone to unwind from stressors.
  • If the child wants friends, help him or her to understand and overcome barriers step by concrete step.
  • Address the child’s history of relationships with peers. A child who has been in treatment and whose behaviour was previously troublesome may have a history with his or her peers that is likely not forgotten. Help the child to understand how their past behaviour affects their present relationships. Be concrete.
  • Discuss ways in which the child can establish new relationships. For example
  • Work on building trust. Teaching, managing, and supporting children with mental health issues is all made easier if you can build a relationship of trust with them.  A child may be acting “in your face” in an attempt to connect, or they may appear  aloof for self preservation. Use humour, or any known personal information to try to  connect with them. Find out what interests them, or help foster a relationship that a  child may already have with another. For example