• Teach eye contact and smiling. Naturally outgoing kids use eye contact with their peers and smile often. This reassures other children. If your child is more reserved, they may need to practice looking at people while they’re talking.
• Mind the manners. It may sound old-fashioned, but kids who use good manners make their friends feel valued. Teach your son to give a guest a drink before taking one himself; instruct your daughter as to how she can introduce you to her friends.
• Compliment. Kids have a certain amount of developmental self-centeredness and don’t always look for attributes in those around them. Teach your child to notice the work of others—a great art project; a well-read part in a play; a strong kick at soccer—and to comment on it.
By Annemarie Scobey, from the archives of At Home with Our Faith newsletter