Social relationships may affect children's physical health, study says

 As the parent of a preschooler, I often see my daughter facing social situations she doesn't know how to handle. Whether it's knowing who to play with at school when her best friend is absent, figuring out what to say when a classmate mocks her letter-tracing or confronting the kid on the playground who pushed her, my parenting approach has been to listen, offer suggestions — but ultimately let her handle her own interactions.

I figure that's a whole lot more acknowledgment than what was offered by my parents, who were great, but hardworking immigrants who didn't trouble themselves with preschool drama. It also seems like the right way to balance my Mama Bear instinct to protect with the importance of allowing my child to develop important social skills for herself.

But recent research on the stress caused by social relationships in children is causing me to re-evaluate.


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