ACCEPTANCE is a huge word for all kids! We all want to be loved, acknowledged, and appreciated for our contributions as human beings, no matter how large or small. Likewise, kids of all ages – and even those with special abilities – thrive on acceptance, approval, and a sense of belonging within their peer groups.

As a parent, what do you do when you discover that your child is unable to name a best friend… or, even share the names of any of his or her friends? Unfortunately, we live in a society where an individual’s outward appearance, looks, and intellect override the fundamental rule that teaches acceptance and respect for others: the “Golden Rule.” As a result, kids have become plagued by a minimized concern for other kids, which has caused thousands of kids desiring not to go to school, or even participate in social settings. The fact of the matter is, mean kids aren’t just a middle-school problem. The trouble has trickled down to the younger grades.

Kids who have a lack of friendships at the elementary level, and/or those who experience bullying, are at an increased risk for adjusting poorly to school, experiencing sleeping disorders, having anxiety issues, and suffering from depression. It can also lead to social, emotional, and behavioral problems; physical injuries; lack of self-confidence; and, even tragedy, such as suicide.