BOOK REVIEW (Davidson Institute) - This book review states how Good Friends Are Hard to Find: Help Your Child Find, Make, and Keep Friends is a great reference guide for your child in helping them deal with the struggles of making and keeping friends. As of 2010, this book is out of print, but the author has published an updated and revised edition with Jossey-Bass that has been re-titled, Friends Forever: How Parents Can Help Their Kids Make and Keep Good Friends, which is available on Kindle.
Reviewed by Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Good Friends Are Hard to Find is an essential resource for any family with a child struggling with making or keeping friends. A leading expert on children’s social skills and the Director of UCLA Parent Training & Children’s Social Skills Programs, author, Dr. Fred Frankel, spends part of his time as a psychologist at UCLA where he trains pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, and child psychiatrists. This book is based on techniques he uses in the Parent Training & Children’s Social Skills Programs and is written for both parents and professionals.
In today’s fast paced world with working parents and afterschool activities, children have little time to create lasting, meaningful, one-on-one friendships. Frankel shares that many children suffer from friendship problems even aside from busy family schedules – 15% of children do not have any friends at all, and contrary to popular belief, it is not due to parenting. For these particular situations, Frankel states that conventional therapy does not work and, based on research, one-on-one play dates are the best solution.
Frankel wrote Good Friends Are Hard to Find in an easy-to-read format, providing step-by-step directions and checklists on how parents and professionals can help prepare a child with the skills needed to address friendship problems, when and should they arise. Frankel offers practical advice on a wide range of friendship issues:
Part 1: Finding Friends
- Making Time for Friends
- Curbing Interests That Prevent Friendships
- Developing Interests that Attract Friends
- Finding Friends in your Neighborhood
- Using Organized Activities to Find Friends
Part 2: Making Friends
- Joining Others at Play
- Becoming a Good Sport
- Looking for Closer Friends & Joining A Friendship Circle
- Using the Telephone to Make Closer Friends
- Having Fun Play Dates
- Becoming a Better Host
Part 3: Keeping Friends
- Encouraging Good Choices
- Discouraging Bad Choices
- Listening to Your Child’s Worries
- Having Friends Stolen
- Losing a Close Friend
- Moving Away
Part 4: Dealing with Teasing, Bullying, and Meanness
- Taking the Fun Out Of Teasing
- Stopping Rumors
- Staying Away From Children Who Fight
- Dealing With Children Who Bully
Part 5: Helping Your Child Out of Trouble
- Not Noticed By Classmates
- Overcoming Hyperactive Behavior
- Improving Your Child’s Bad Reputation
- Working With Adults Who Have Trouble with Your Child
- Stopping Your Child’s Fighting
- Stopping Your Child’s Bullying
This book is a valuable resource for any parent or professional whose student has no one to play with, is getting picked on at school, is bullying others, or is moving away from friends. Good Friends Are Hard to Find can be read cover to cover or be used as a reference book whenever a child is experiencing a particular problem.