In the family environment, in the neighborhood or at school, since we are children, we meet people with whom we share games, adventures and mischief. The friendship between children gives them a series of experiences that are very important for their development.
Friendship between children has many benefits: children learn to share with others, both spaces and toys, for example, manage to develop their personal autonomy and learn together with other friends.
The parents’ task is to know how to advise their children so that they know how to choose who their friends are and to be able to avoid socialization problems in the future, for which it is important to set aside authoritarianism and show respect, support.
For children, the value of friendship is not the same as for adults, and the concept of friendship between them evolves according to age.
The Friendship In The First Years
During the first two years, children learn naturally, while playing with other children. Little by little, they show their preferences for some children and, during this phase in which the first relationships occur, the exchange of toys stands out.
Between 2 and 3 years old, children choose another child with whom they can play the same as him, who becomes his inseparable friend, with whom they share toys and games, but until 4 years old, the individual game will continue to prevail to group play.
Between the ages of 4 and 6, children show their preferences for certain games and choose their friendships. During this phase, if the child has to change schools, it will not be the same problem as during later periods of his childhood.
From the age of 7, it is when group games begin, accepting the rules of the games while developing logical thinking and reasoning.
The concept of friendship between children changes from the age of 8, and the figure of best friends appears, with whom to share experiences, games, joys and sorrows. From this age, friendship helps them build their own identity, understanding what sharing means, and feeling that they have someone to talk to and be heard with.
During adolescence, friendship plays a very important role in the lives of children, since they will spend more time with their friends than with their family.
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How to foster friendship between children
Engaging with other children develops the child’s self-esteem and safety, so it is important that parents encourage their children to play with other children to learn and share experiences, and not be introverted.
Having friends is important for the child’s moral and emotional development, since sharing games, communicating, or solving problems helps in their learning. During school age, extracurricular activities are an ideal way to make friends, since they share common interests.
Finally, it is very important to remember that parents are also an example for their children, since children learn from the social skills of adults. In addition, they should teach their children to resolve conflicts, to develop empathy, to establish relationships, so that they improve their social skills and feel more secure.