From psychologist and children’s friendships expert Eileen Kennedy-Moore and parenting and health writer Christine McLaughlin comes a social development primer that gives kids the answers they need to make and keep friends.
Friendship is complicated for kids. Almost every child struggles socially at some time, in some way. Having an argument with a friend, getting teased, or even trying to find a buddy in a new classroom…although these are typical problems, they can be very painful. And friendships are never about just one thing.
With research-based practical solutions and plenty of true-to-life examples—presented in more than 200 lighthearted cartoons—Growing Friendships is a toolkit for both girls and boys as they make sense of the social order around them.
Children everywhere want to fit in with a group, resist peer pressure, and be good sports—but even the most socially adept children struggle at times. But after reading this highly illustrated guide on their own or with a caring adult, kids everywhere will be well equipped to face any friendship challenges that come their way.
Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, is an internationally published author, psychologist, and mother of four. She is a trusted expert on parenting and children’s feelings and friendships who is frequently quoted in major magazines and newspapers and has been a featured guest on national radio and television shows. Her books have been translated into seven languages. She is a professor for the Great Courses, serves on the advisory board for Parents magazine, and writes the popular Growing Friendships blog for Psychology Today. Dr. Kennedy-Moore has a private practice in Princeton, New Jersey, where she works with adults, children, and families. Visit her online at EileenKennedyMoore.com.
Christine McLaughlin is a prolific freelance writer, editor, and author whose work focuses primarily on parenting and health. She has published several hundred articles in national magazines and high-traffic websites. She is also author of The Dog Lover’s Companion to Philadelphia, Philadelphia: A Photographic Portrait, and Bayada: 40 Years of Compassion, Excellence and Reliability, and coauthor of the American Red Cross: Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid books. She and her husband live in the Philadelphia area with their three children and a lovable golden retriever. Visit her online at ChristineMcLaughlin.net.
“Growing Friendships is the secret playbook you’ll wish you’d had when you were growing up. It’s packed with clever strategies that help kids handle the awkward, upsetting, and confusing social situations that happen to everyone. The fun cartoons make the advice light-hearted and easy to swallow.”
"Finally! A gap in the literature of friendship is filled. Growing Friendships is profound and subtle, clear and humorous. Anyone, of any age, who reads it will benefit."
– Wendy Mogel, PhD, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee
"Kids who have social skill challenges often view friendship as an event or a product (Hi, I'm Michael. Let's be best friends and have a sleepover tonight.). They do not understand that friendship is a PROCESS with specific steps and sequences. Eileen Kennedy-Moore brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and sensitivity to this issue. Her book Growing Friendships teaches kids the strategies they can use to establish--and maintain--peer relationships. Her unique and entertaining format holds the child's attention and makes these complex concepts understandable and within reach. It will be an invaluable tool for parents and professionals as they try to prevent their child from hearing the most dreaded words in childhood: 'Sorry, you can't sit there. That seat's taken.' "
– Richard D. Lavoie, author of It's So Much Work to be Your Friend
"Funny, practical, and not at all preachy—Growing Friendships offers spot-on, research-based friendship advice for girls AND boys. Highly recommended! This must-read book is the Google Maps to friendship that every kid needs ”
– Michele Borba, author of Unselfie
“This book is so important! All children face friendship challenges at some point and Growing Friendships offers kids real help—and enough giggles to make the messages fun and memorable.”
– Amy McCready, author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time and The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic
“Some kids intuitively know how to make and manage friendships. Most don’t. Growing Friendships is a kid-friendly guide that uses simple language, engaging illustrations, and humor to help girls AND boys master the mysteries of social interaction.”
– Jennifer L. W. Fink, founder of BuildingBoys.net
“Practical examples, real-life solutions, and playful humor make Growing Friendships a great resource. This insightful guide can help kids become competent problem solvers, cope with common social challenges, develop empathy, and build strong friendships.”
– Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, coauthor of bestsellers The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline
“This empowering and entertaining guide for kids shows ways to maneuver the often tricky, confusing, and challenging journey to build and maintain positive friendships. Not only do children learn strategies to make new friends, handle stressful situations, say ‘no’ to a pushy peer, and be a great team member, Growing Friendships makes the process fun and meaningful for the entire family.”
– Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, developmental psychologist and founder of Roots of Action
“Children’s friendships are a rollercoaster of emotion and conflict—fun and exciting when a friendship is going well, but challenging and even crushing when it’s not. Growing Friendships taps into the real-life problems kids face—from the friend who tells your secret to the one who likes you one day and won’t play with you the next. This spot-on guide navigates the slippery slope of inevitable difficulties with kid humor and compassion to demonstrate not only how to mend friendships or let them go, but also how to be a good friend. If you have school-age children they—and you—need this book.”
– Susan Newman, PhD, social psychologist and author of Little Things Long Remembered and The Case for the Only Child
“The complexities of friendships in the school-aged years can be the most perplexing for students, parents, and educators alike. Growing Friendships gives research-based, concrete, and effective solutions for navigating these relationships. A tool every school should have!”
– Kelly Bos, MSW, RSW, psychotherapist, parent, and former school counselor
"For any child struggling with friendships, this book will be a source of comfort, guidance, and fun, with its wonderful illustrations and child-centered dialogue. Counselors, psychologists, and parents, this is a book to read with the children you care about."
– Maurice J. Elias, PhD, Rutgers University, coauthor of The Joys and Oys of Parenting and Emotionally Intelligent Parenting
Written for kids (specifically 6 -9 year olds) this is a book that parents will want to read as well. It offers some terrific advice for helping young people navigate the complicated waters of social interaction. These authors return to the basics to explain social and face-to-face communication skills to children who are living in a mostly virtual world. What appears to be silly dialogue between a cartoon cat and dog, actually contains some powerful lessons about how to approach and interact with other children. The fact that it makes these encounters humorous allows children to feel more comfortable about risking personal contact with other children. Making friends and keeping them, joining the fun, how to share, when to say NO, dealing with bullying, joining a group, and moving past conflict are all topics which are discussed in kid-friendly terms with real-world applications. In our fast-paced and disruptive world, we’re losing sight of the kitchen-table wisdom that children used to take refuge in. This book puts kids and their parents back in touch with basic, tried and true, social skills, and the ways in which those skills can be used.