An important aspect of maintaining friendships is the ability to reinforce others, to act in ways that make others feel positively. This can occur when students perform well, and their friends and teachers acknowledge their achievements, or when students feel badly, and others try to make them feel better.
Receiving a low grade on a test, being teased by others, missing an all-important free throw, or placing lower than hoped in the school's science fair are all situations that might cause a student to feel badly about him/herself. Peers can help each other in these situations by offering positive reinforcement, e.g., reminding a friend of her strengths, or trying to engage her in activities where her strengths are on display. Teachers might offer similar types of reinforcement, e.g., asking the student who missed the free throw to teach her peers how to shoot for better percentage, or asking the student with the third place science project to show his work to other classes.
Here are some strategies to help students develop the ability to engage in reinforcing behaviors.