Friendships are powerful relationships that influence our child’s development throughout their lifetime. Self esteem , social relationships , empathy, learning what is acceptable or not acceptable behaviors are developed amongst friends .
Dr. Paul Schwartz, an expert in child psychology and behavior, states, “Friendships contribute significantly to the development of social skills, such as being sensitive to another’s viewpoints, learning the rules of conversation, and age-appropriate behaviors.”
Luckily there are many ways that parents can play a significant role in sharing the value of friendship with their children. Parents, when they assist their children in interacting within social situations and problem solving with others, can show their children that early friendships can greatly enrich their lives.
Use play as a tool to promote friendships early.
For friendships to grow and social skills to develop, parents must play an active role in creating opportunities for their child to interact with others their own age.
Talk your child through early interactions with peers. Many times, children do not have the sophisticated vocabulary and can’t always express what they’re feeling to a new friend .
You can model how to interact with other peers by being present and engaging children in conversation and play . When they are comfortable , they will direct the play and move forward in cultivating their friendships .