Cultivating friendships during childhood is beneficial for your child’s development. When we think back to our own childhoods, there are probably many things you told your friends before you ever told your parents. Thinking back on those times evokes memories of experiences  you shared with your friends and moments you will always cherish. We all want our children to have their own positive experiences as well. We want to ensure that they grow up in a nurturing environment with friends on whom they can rely. There are many benefits to meaningful friendship during childhood, including:

  • Developing social skills:

    In today’s world, social skills are essential as we strive to be an inclusive society. Each person interacts with others in their own way, and by forming friendships from a young age, kids can learn various ways to interact with their peers. For example, a child may learn that  another child might communicate with his or her hands. Children will observe that while some kids are not inclined to talk much, others may be much more chatty. Whatever the case, your child will benefit from learning how to relate to all different kinds of children.

  • Learning conflict resolution:

    The reality is that sometimes kids don’t get along. As children learn to navigate daily interactions, they will encounter disagreements and may not always know how to resolve these conflicts.  Practicing problem solving and conflict resolution are extremely important skills for children to master as they grow and learn. Children need to learn that it’s normal to have a disagreement or a conflict while still remaining friends. As children experience friendships, they learn that friends not only agree on a lot of things, but they may also disagree at times too. And that’s okay.

  • Expanding their imaginations:

    As children interact with friends, they are provided with opportunities to play and imagine.  Not only does imagination help children create works of art or great stories– it also nurtures creativity when it comes to  finding solutions to problems, brainstorming ways of trying things, and ways for kids to grow in ways they might not have before.

  • Building a sense of community:

    With social media virtually coursing through our veins, much of  interactions take place online. Because of this, a child who is out in the “real”  world might feel a bit isolated without friends. When kids spend time with friends, they expand their awareness beyond  themselves and become part of something bigger – a community and a group of friends in which they can create wonderful memories.

  • Identifying with their peers’ experiences:

    When we were children, there were probably a few times we can remember going to a friend or sibling about something in our lives  instead of going to our parents or another adult. For example, we may not feel comfortable discussing topics like puberty or making a mistake that might get us into trouble. It can be comforting for a child knowing his or her friends may have experienced something similar. Just like adults, kids don’t want to feel isolated or alone.  Even though we may have had similar experiences during our own childhoods, chances are, your kid might think you just don’t get it.

Learning diversity among friends and family

There is a lot of diversity in our world, but kids can find themselves in a microcosm of home life, not realizing that each family is different. What may be an everyday norm for one child’s family might not be usual for his or her friend’s family. This is why establishing friendships is especially important for kids  as they discover that people come from all different kinds of backgrounds, and that it’s okay to be different. Not every family has to be like your own. Having friends from different backgrounds may help them learn about new cultures and help them grow to be more inclusive of others. At Handprints Academy we understand the importance of friendship during childhoodWhen children they come to us, they learn these skills from a very young age. Not only do we ensure that your child will thrive academically,  but we also help to nurture social interactions and friendships among children. We strive to help every child in our care grow to their fullest potential, make wonderful memories, and give them the foundation needed to take the next steps on their path with confidence. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our childcare facilities and curriculum. For more information about all of our exceptional child care services, please call Handprints Academy today!