CHILDHOOD FRIENDSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Friendships established during the preschool years create valuable contexts to learn and practice skills essential to children's social,  cognitive,  communication and emotional development.
Establishing friendships is an important developmental goal of early childhood.
Friendships also benefit children by creating a sense of belonging and security and  by lessening stress. In addition , successful friendships in early childhood contribute to children's quality of life and are considered important to life adjustment.
 
 
ROLE OF PARENT SUPPORT IN FRIENDSHIP DEVELOPMENT:
Children develop socially and emotionally through interactions and relationships with others. Parent support may be achieved by -
1. Positive parent child interactions
2. Parents roles as supervisors , coaches, and advisers during children's play and
3. Parents roles a providers of social opportunities
Friendships are important, but your guidance and monitoring of activities are needed for your child to be safe and successful.
As children grow, friendships take on new meaning.
Parents who have open communication and active involvement in the early years set the tone for ongoing deeper conversations about friends during the school-aged and adolescent years.
 
FRIENDSHIP IN THE EARLY YEARS
 
- Starting from the preschool years, you can be present and available when your children are playing with others.These early play times allow you to see how your child interacts with other children and highlights your child's internal social strengths and challenges.
If your child very Shy , You will be able to help warm up initial interactions and conversely, if your child is very social, you will be able to help him learn how to move room for a quieter friend.
 
- Even from the very start, children get very angry with friends. This gives you the opportunity to teach how to feel the emotional and physical sensation of anger and express anger without very badly or physically hurting others.
 
THE SCHOOL-AGED YEARS
 
- Adult often think " children need to work it out themselves". Children with different social skills will require different coaching about friendship
- The shy child will need to learn to  not respond to peer conflict with fear, worry,  and increased isolation
- The child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will need to be coached to slowdown or filter their thoughts so that they can give their friend "a break" before being to direct or harsh
- A very physically active child will have to be sure to avoid hurting friends when filled with frustration and anger
- Children who have grown up in a home where a lot of anger is expressed or children who have experienced or witnessed physical violence at home will specific skills to slow down their physical and verbal response to a threat
- Welcome your child's friends to your home. Be sure they can follow the rules of your home. If speaking with respect and asking permission to have a snack is a core value in your family
-If there is any chance that you can join your child's school , sport, or club event get involved. You will get the chance to see your child in action and appreciate how they get along with their peers
- Be sure that you, as a parent, are involved in creating social plans. There is no reason to encourage texting or phone use before a child needs it to keep in contact with you . Once she is able to remotely communicate, with peers, be sure you know who she is communicating with, how much time she/he is in  communication about.
 
THE ADOLESCENT YEARS
 
 continue.....

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