My first-grader has been slow to make friends during the school year. There are not a lot of children in our neighborhood, so I am afraid that she will have a rather lonely summer. How can I avoid this and put her on the track to having some friends at school next year? -- Too Lonely
Answer: Hopefully you have made the acquaintance of several mothers of first-graders in your daughter's class. Contact them now, and make plans for some summer activities. Family activities can be a good way to break the ice in forming friendships. You could organize family trips to the zoo, water parks or circus, as well as backyard barbecues. This could be a start on helping your daughter have more friends next year at school.
Think also about some activities that your child might enjoy this summer, from taking ballet or gymnastics lessons to even playing a sport or attending a day camp at a YMCA. Ask your child who in her class she might enjoy doing some of these activities with. See if you can arrange with the child's parents for the other girl to join your child in this activity.
If you are not close with any of the parents of children in your child's class, ask the teacher to tell you which children in the class are likely to want to do things with your child.
Another thing that could help your daughter find friends is to sign her up for a social skills class. Plus, it will help for her to observe how to make friends.