Best of the Web: How to help kids make friends, and more

What to do if your child is struggling to make friends, young people taking control of their financial futures, and how love can help your child become a compassionate adult.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

How to help your child make friends in school

(Amanda Hoh, ABC Everyday)

Kids who have started school or moved to a new school will usually make friends themselves. But what happens when they are struggling to form friendships, and it begins to affect their wellbeing? The playground can be a lonely place for some children.

There are things both parents and schools can do, as detailed in this report that draws on some expert advice.

This includes checking in with them and their teacher as a first step. You can also help them with communication skills, foster friendships outside school, and see what the school is  doing to support students to make friendships.

As one caller to ABC Radio related: ‘My son was struggling with the double whammy of new school and new country and made no friends. It was the principal who teamed him up with another kid in similar circles and it worked a treat – still friends 25 years later.’

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My teenage son is suddenly passionate about financial planning – and who can blame him?

(Emma Beddington, The Guardian)

One of the joys of having children, writes the author, is being swept up in their passions, often short-lived: lizards, competitive cubing, and grim auteur cinema among them.

Her 18-year-old’s latest passion is different, and has a much more mature edge to it. It’s money. He has a share portfolio, into which he invests most of the cash he earns.

This interest appears to be much more of a fad. Rather, it taps into a movement among young people to take some measure of control over their financial futures. He gets tips from the popular Fire (financial independence, retire early) movement.

It’s an interesting contrast to the notorious trashing of young people a few years back over their perceived wasteful behaviour in devouring smashed avocado in cafes.

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How love can help your child become more compassionate

(Maryam Abdullah, Greater Good Magazine, University of California, Berkeley)

The author and her preschooler – ‘who operates at a leisurely pace under nearly all circumstances’ – had arrived at the supermarket. She headed to the produce section, while her son went straight to the flowers.

The child chose a bunch of flowers, put them in the trolley, and said, ‘This one is beautiful for you, Momma.’

Her son reminded her the love was a good reason to pause. Supporting what we know instinctively, a long-term study from Finland has found that experiencing love in childhood can help children develop into compassionate adults. The results are detailed in this report.

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