Valuable Friendship Lessons for Little Ones
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
At Best Brains of Algonquin, we love to encourage healthy and welcoming friendships between classmates. Friendships are a vital aspect of children’s mental and emotional development as there is so much to learn from having relationships with others. In order to help encourage the development of social skills, it is important to incorporate each of these topics into teaching kids how to be a good friend!
"Teamwork can build friendships that last a lifetime." - Natalya Neidhart
Teamwork makes the dream work, we all know that. However, sometimes it ends up that no matter how many times we remind our kids of this catchphrase, it still doesn’t quite stick. One thing that is certain, though: friendships are the ideal way to teach kids the value of sticking together and using each other’s strengths to accomplish great things.
"One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
"Communication is key", blah blah blah. We’ve all heard it. However, learning how to effectively communicate with others is a task that is often oversimplified. Don’t let your child fall into that trap. Communication is something that is not only incredibly vital, but is also incredibly difficult to learn. It takes a ton of disagreements to learn how to effectively communicate with another person while ensuring that everyone’s points are heard and understood. Being able to hear people out leads to our next vital lesson of friendship - compromise.
"I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better." - Plutarch
Communication is one thing, but being able to reach a compromise is a whole other ball game. It is essential to be willing and able to step down and maybe sacrifice something for the better of someone you care about. Not only that, but it is also essential to know when to fight for what you are not willing to compromise, such as mental & emotional wellbeing, safety, boundaries, etc. Friendships encourage children to be faced with these issues at an early age.
"A true friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else." - Len Wein
A real friend shines through when they remain by your side through the toughest times. It’s important to learn at an early age that everything isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and that’s okay! Powering through tough times and being there to lend a hand will show someone that you really do love and care for them. Even just offering to help a friend to make their lives a little easier goes a long way. Teaching this to kiddos at an early age helps them to incorporate it into their daily lives.
"A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success!" - Doug Larson
While loyalty is of course of the utmost importance, it also is essential that a friend respects you and your best interest. And sometimes, that means being open and honest about their thoughts regarding your choices. Part of being a good friend is finding the balance between overstepping and respecting their autonomy. Planting the seed for these tools early in life helps children to utilize them later in life.