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My 7-year-old son comes home from playing with his friend, Stuart, and looks sullen and glum. When I ask him what's wrong, he replies that he hates Stuart and doesn't want to play with him again. What can I do?

  • Help your child label his feelings without placing a value judgment on them, e.g. "You sound really angry. What happened?"
  • Help him understand the other child's feelings, e.g. "Why do you think Stuart won't let you play with his train?", "Stuart just got the train last month for his birthday and he is probably afraid it will get broken."
  • Help your child come up with an appropriate solution, e.g. "How could you let him know you'll be careful with it?"




Source: Kim Leon, Ph.D., Former Assistant Professor and State Specialist, Human Development & Family Studies, Human Environmental Sciences Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia





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Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009





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