PARENTING
03/05/2013 01:52 pm ET

Why First Friends Matter

No one wants to think about her child alone on the monkey bars, but kindergarten friendships may be even more important than you realize, especially for boys. Boys with high-quality friendships in kindergarten -- think lots of sharing, turn-taking, and peaceful ends to squabbles -- had fewer behavior problems and better social skills by third grade, according to a study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Since teamwork is a big part of learning, kids who have trouble adapting are at a disadvantage academically. Here's how to move things in the right direction:

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