First Playdates

How to Pick Friends

When your kids are very young, you'll probably be the one choosing their friends, says Dr. Thiel. But how do you know which kids could be great potential pals? Keep these factors in mind:

Age. Ideally, the kids should be close in age, but do invite an older child over occasionally: Your toddler will learn a lot by mimicking his socially savvier guest.

Temperament. Consider your child's playtime personality. A loud, extroverted child may not be the best choice of buddy if your toddler is quiet and slow to warm up.

The other child's parents. Ask yourself whether they share your values. If your parenting styles don't mesh, it could spell trouble.

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