Celebrating National Best Friends Day

June 8th is National Best Friends Day in the United States, and we’re going to celebrate by sharing the benefits of building healthy friendships in early childhood.

Developing Bonds in Early Childhood

The moment your child is born, the bond between the two of you becomes obvious; and that special bond you have with your child will always be there. From first smile to first steps to first words, each of these milestones in your child’s life makes that bond even stronger.

As children continue to grow, the opportunities for positive social interactions and friendships grow with them; and bonding with other children is an integral part of their development.

They Grow Up So Fast!

There’s a reason that “they grow up so fast” is such a widely used saying. It’s true! The rapidity of your child’s development is an incredible feat to witness. Just take a look at what we’ve highlighted from the CDC’s Developmental Milestones:

Two Years Old

  • Copies others, especially adults and older children
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games

Three Years Old

  • Copies adults and friends
  • Shows affection for friends without prompting
  • Takes turns in games
  • Shows concern for crying friend
  • Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”

Four Years Old

  • Would rather play with other children than by himself
  • Cooperates with other children

Five Years Old

  • Wants to be like friends
  • Wants to please friends
school children story time

Encouraging Childhood Friendships

As we’ve just learned, many children already want to emulate and please their friends by the time they’re five years old; and they also want to please their parents. Try actively showing support for their newly formed friendships and encouraging them whenever you can. By encouraging those friendships and interactions, you’re also teaching your child the importance of morals such as sharing and trust.

young children reading storybook

Other Ways to Encourage Childhood Friendships

  • Set up playdates
  • Be a positive role model by engaging in positive social interactions around your children
  • Teach and practice sharing
  • Encourage them to participate in group activities
  • Talk with them about their friends

What If My Child Is Shy?

Many of us aren’t social butterflies who can make friends with little to no effort. And you shouldn’t push children to be anyone else but themselves. As a parent, keep showing them the love and support that all children deserve. You don’t want to force children into an uncomfortable situation they aren’t prepared for; however, setting up your child’s favorite board games and having a classmate over for a playdate can ease him or her into taking part in more positive social interactions.

Giving Your Child A Place to Build Friendships

At Little Friends School, we help children find their way through new learning experiences while encouraging the development of positive friendships. And our summer program offers expanded opportunities for childhood camaraderie and companionship. Activities such as playing team sports can aid in teaching children the importance of cooperation and friendship while they’re having fun at the same time.

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