No matter what your feelings are on popularity, chances are that most people have desired it at one time or another. Fortunately, being popular in elementary school doesn't require some of the questionable behavior that is often necessary as children get older. Instead, teach your children to focus on building solid friendships as a path to popularity.

Stick out, or don't. Unlike older children, elementary school children don't mind a classmate who sticks out a little. Possessing a distinct personality can earn a student friendship and popularity. However, this isn't necessary, either. Students are perfectly happy with classmates who play as members of a group.

Make connections. Children who see each other at activities such as PTA meetings, soccer clubs and gymnastics meets are more likely to stick together in elementary school and beyond. Parents can help to form these bonds by finding activities within the community in which their child is interested.

Be academic. Unfortunately, children realize when their classmates are doing poorly. Encourage your children to realize their full academic potential so they fare better in the elementary classroom.

Make it personal. Children who forge solid friendships outside of school have a basis to stand on. Encourage play dates, parties and field trips.

Teach morals and manners. Today's school focus on positive character traits, and teachers enforce good behavior in the school setting. Children who have a head start on these traits do better with their peers than bullies or children who haven't learned how to share and play with others.