|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Hero Worship

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: Should I be concerned that a first-grade child (an only) shows signs of strong attachment to a classmate? She seems obsessed with how her friend dresses, eats, looks, etc. Her mom is upset since she has said that she "hates" her mom and wants to be like this friend. Her mom is concerned about the girls' self-esteem and would like to know whether or not this is a passing phase or something more serious.

A: First-graders become very attached to their peers and teachers, and may see them as perfect people. A: First-graders become very attached to their peers and teachers, and sometimes see them as perfect people. Moms may find out when they try to help with homework that since they don't do it like "Mrs. Smith," they don't know anything.

Children also learn very early that saying that they hate someone quickly pushes buttons, especially with parents. Encourage the mom to respond with something like, "I understand that you don't like what I did, but I still love you."

It sounds like the child you write about is taking this to the extreme. Suggest that the mom talk with the teacher to see what he or she has observed in the classroom. She could also talk with the school counselor and ask the counselor to spend some time with the girl.

This may be a phase that's over soon. But if these behaviors continue for a long period of time, the mom may want to consider therapy for her daughter. The school counselor or their pediatrician can help refer her to a therapist in the community.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks