Friendship is important. Your friends are the ones, outside of your family, that you can rely on for support, understanding and comradery – no matter what. But, like any other skill, building meaningful friendships takes a number of tools that you gather during early childhood.
We’ll let the kids from our Tiffany Hills location show you what we mean.
Friendship is…having shared interests.
Of course, you and your friends have things in common. Shared interests are the foundation of a good friendship. But, before children can identify the likes and dislikes that they have in common with their peers, they first have to try things and figure out exactly what their interests are! These two boys in the toddler room were drawn together when they both decided to play with the kitchen set. They talked about what food they were making and who they would serve it to. Then, they set to work busily making a pretend feast for the group – and making friends!
Speaking of talking, think about when you spend time with your friends. With your closest friends, you could likely talk for hours about anything and everything to do with each other’s lives. Even as an adult, your friendships hinge on good communication. It’s the same when we’re looking at young children. Their ability to communicate shapes all of their relationships and they build these communication skills as they play.
Take these two, for example. They paired off at play time and immediately went over to the bucket of colourful, plastic shapes. They had that interest in common. Then, they began to talk about what they were doing; what colours they liked, what they would build with the shapes. They are building communication skills, and these skills will help shape their relationships for years to come.
Friendship is…knowing when you need time alone.
Even as adults, we sometimes feel the need to have some time alone to reflect and unwind. When your friends text you and ask if you’d like to go out for lunch, sometimes you just need to say, “Not today. Maybe next time!” If you were to say “Yes!” every time someone wanted to spend time with you, you’d find yourself exhausted and, ultimately, unable to be a good friend. Having time to yourself is crucial!
Children are no different, but they need to learn to identify when they need some time by themselves. A room full of kids is exciting and full of stimulation. So much so, that children often break off from the group to spend a few moments alone with their favourite truck, like our friend pictured above. It is in this way that children learn how to take care of themselves emotionally and psychologically. It’s just like we mentioned in our blog post on learning through relationships. The first step in becoming a good friend, like learning any new skill, is establishing a feeling of well-being.
Until next time,