Friendships throughout childhood
November 26, 2021
Friendships, even as children learn and grow, contribute significantly to the development of social skills. By learning how to navigate early childhood friendships through play, TIGS Prep children learn:
- how to be sensitive to other people’s point of view
- the rules of conversation
- and what constitutes age appropriate behaviour
Friendships also help define both self and self worth.
Friendships benefit children in many ways by creating a sense of belonging, security and reducing stress.
For children aged 3 to 7 years, friendships are seen as momentary – and all about having fun together. Friendships happen in the moment and can be as a result of liking what the child next to them is doing. As children at this age are still exploring and learning about their world, friends can be someone who is conveniently nearby or who does the same things they like to do. They are still very much learning how to see other perspectives and can become upset if their ‘friend’ wants to do something different or has a different opinion. You may hear comments like ‘I’m not your friend anymore’ just because the child does not want to play in the sandpit at that time. Children begin to learn the perspectives of others as they grow and engage in reciprocal and responsive relationships of conversation and negotiation. They begin to negotiate their understanding through repeated conversations and interactions. It is important to allow children time to explore the world and begin to make sense of the world around them through expression, relationships and conversation to further build friendships.
TIGS Prep children continue to learn about the rules of friendships. Our Prep children transitioning into ‘big school’ will have explored and learned many important skills that are necessary for forming and building friendships and will take these skills with them into their ‘big school’ journey and beyond.
We wish our TIGS Prep children a lifetime of friendships with old and new friends as they learn ‘I’m not your friend anymore’ becomes ‘can I be your friend’ and ‘I am still your friend’ as they explore the world through connections, relationships and ever growing friendships.