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Friendship Fears

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My six-year-old daughter has always been best friends with her cousin. Now the cousin has a new seven-year-old stepsister and when they're playing together at their grandmother's house, they leave my daughter out completely. She's so hurt that she cries when we have to go to Grandma's. There are also other children there. What can I do to help her?

A: Help your daughter plan ahead when it's time to visit Grandma's house. Talk with her several days before you go and plan some activities that she would like to do there. Perhaps there are some games that she likes to play that she could take. Or perhaps she could take a wading pool or a sprinkler to play with outside. Plan to take some books, videotapes, and some quiet games as well.

Once you get to Grandma's, help your daughter start the game or the sprinkler, and invite the other children to play. If the cousin and her stepsister don't want to play, some of the other children may be interested.

Before you go, talk with your daughter about who will be at Grandma's house. Discuss who she can play with, and make sure she knows that even if the two favorites don't want to play, that's okay and there are other children with whom she can have fun.

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

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.

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