When Your Child... Has a Not-So-Nice Friend

2-min. video | Open Door For Parents with Dr. Eileen

(103 sec.) Transcript at bottom.

Hi, Has your child had a friend who’s kind one day and mean the next? This kind of relationship can be very confusing for kids–and frustrating for parents. This week’s video has some ideas of how to deal with a friend who runs hot and cold, when your child doesn’t want to break off the friendship completely.

I’m so excited about the Kids Ask Dr. Friendtastic podcast that I’m starting. The episodes will be very short–under five minutes–and feature audio recordings of questions from kids. Watch your email for the first episode, which is coming very soon!

In response to subscriber requests, this month’s webinar is for kids. Learn more below.

Warm wishes,

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* Friendship Skills for Kids (for ages 6-12)

Monday, Jan. 30 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm (Eastern US time)

Friendships can be complicated! Making new friends, handling an argument with a friend, dealing with teasing… all children are likely to face these situations, but they can be difficult or upsetting. In this interactive webinar for kids, Dr. Eileen will talk about common friendship challenges and share practical ideas for handling friendship rough spots. Kids will come away learning about important friendship skills that can help them feel more comfortable and confident in social situations. (Recording will be available if you sign up but your child can’t attend the live event.)


RECORDED WEBINARS: Watch at your convenience

  • NEW: Friendship in the Digital Age (This is a recording of a recent presentation in front of a LIVE audience.)

  • Kid Confidence: Help Your Child Build Real Self-Esteem

  • Making Up and Breaking Up With Friends (Q&A session)

  • Parenting During Uncertain Times

  • Help Your Child Cope With Feelings

  • Helping Your Anxious Child (Q&A session)




Welcome back to Open Door for Parents. I'm Dr. Eileen.

Sometimes kids have a friend who runs hot and cold. One day they might be kind, and the next day they're mean. Often these kids are very exciting to play with, or they might be socially powerful, so your child might really want to be friends with them. But it’s confusing and upsetting when the friend is running cold. 

If your child insists on being friends with this kid, they're going to need a plan for handling the relationship. When the friend is kind, great! There's no problem. 

When the friend is not so kind, then your child needs to speak up in a calm and confident way and say something like, “This isn't fun for me!” 

If the friend changes what they're doing, great. We're all good. If they don't, then your child should walk away and go play with somebody else that day. Over time this will teach the hot and cold front what your child is or isn't willing to put up with.

Now, you may prefer that your child find a different friend, and you can definitely make opportunities for your child to hang out with other kids. Spending time with easier friends can help your child learn that the best friends aren’t hot and cold; they’re steady warm.