One of the ongoing challenges of elementary age children is friendship; making new friends, keeping friends, handling conflicts with friends... the list is endless. If I had to take a guess as to what percentage of the overall problems I handle as a school counselor are friendship problems, I would say about 80%. Although it is a common problem, I usually find that if I can find a way for the two friends to communicate how they feel and what the problem is, we can usually resolve the problem at least for a period of time. Old habits do of course tend to resurface, but with most interpersonal problems, communication is the key.
In order to better address this ongoing concern in a light hearted but educational way, I have recently published Wyatt The Wonder Dog: Learns About Good Manners , a children's picture book all about a dog who has quite the friendship problem. He is friends with a rather bossy inconsiderate neighbor named Max who rarely takes turns, asks for his input on what to play and always leaves him with a messy room after each visit. Wyatt is fed up with this bossy friend, but what can he do about it? After many unrealistic and hilarious attempts to avoid the problem, Wyatt discovers that facing it head on and talking to his friend is the best approach. Parents, teachers and counselors should all be able to use this book to help young children solve some of their friendship problems. Let me know what you think about the book!