I was at a birthday party last Sunday with my five-year-old daughter and happened to meet my childhood BFF, and it was a sheer delight! Meeting up someone so close and dear to you after such long rewinds all childhood memories and emotional connects that grew over the years. Real friends never get apart, and so didn’t our friendship!
Although she went abroad for a few years and we were on occasional calls, but the bond never disappeared. That day, we had long chats, and kids were playing around. They got overjoyed with us being so genuinely intrigued! I then realized that it is vital to imbibe the real value of true friendship amongst kids. As Friendship Day is arriving shortly, let’s make our kids aware of the real essence of childhood bonds.
Friends leave a profound impact on us as human beings, and every bit of our thought process is somewhere or the other linked to them. Generating good friendships right from childhood boosts the kids’ development and enables them to learn and absorb things easily. At every stage of life, you might have a distinct set of friends, and all of them are equally important. Being parents, we must help kids nurture this innocent bond as kids are selfless and adaptable to new things easily. Exchange of bands or gifts on friendship day is just a modern showcase of relations. But friendship is much beyond this. Valuing and grooming preschool friendships have some significant effects on a child’s physical and emotional well-being.
Be it a kid or adult, and friends are mandatory for everyone. Leading life in isolation is depressing and can generate a series of negative thoughts in mind. Research says that people with no good friends tend to live shorter than those who have lots of friends. Mainly for kids, engagement and sharing of things with their age groups cultivate a sense of responsibility and giving attitude.
Child refrains all from psychological problems when they have friends to play and cuddle around. They motivate each other in studies, extra curriculum activities, and the development of cognitive skills. You might have noticed that the first child mostly learns to speak late while the next sibling starts up early due to the elder one’s influence. The same goes for friendship in kids. Being surrounded by good friends from childhood helps people in cutting down stress and anxiety on any matter.
Friends must be real, not many!
This is the thumb rule that you must teach your kids. A single law cannot apply to every child. Few kids are introvert by nature, and they prefer limiting their friend circle to few close pals. At the same time, other outgoing kids love to mingle with new children and develop high bonds. Keep a check on the quality of friends your kids have around and not the quantity.
Here are a few tips for parents to help kids to inculcate warm friendships:
1. Teach them the significance of staying connected- As I told you earlier, my oldest friend is 35 years old, and the bond is still fresh and new. Teach your kids that it is not just essential to make friends, but retaining them for a lifetime is an art. Friendships require a lot of dedication, love, diligence, giveaway attitude, and compassion to stay forever. Give them some examples of you or other elders close to them who have such old and real friends. Kids look upto parents to turn up their persona. Be a preacher and then a teacher!
2. Built friendship skills– Children are raw by heart, and they can adapt anything you put into their minds. If your child lacks friends and is unable to contact with people quite often, try to figure out ways that help in expression. Make them understand that friendship is the true celebration of life, and connecting with other kids can help them make good friends. Try to develop habits like sharing meals, toys, and books with other pals so that they must be a giver right from the start.
3. Understand your child’s persona- Every kid cannot be a fun lover, outspoken, chirpy, and giggling child who could mix up with everyone. If your kids are a bit shy and allow people to come in their lives slowly, respect that! Comparison only diminishes the confidence and calibre of a child and make them feel vulnerable about themselves. Allow them some space to cherish what they like from heart.
Highlight the benefits of childhood friend this Friendship Day!
I can never forget my best buddy since childhood! Can you? We all have that one pal who is easy to reach, and we can express our hearts out. Treasuring such friends and friendship always adds value to life. Nurturing true friendship is a legacy that we must pass on to the coming generations. They must realize that memories are the only gift you can retain for a lifetime. Rest, everything might fade away. Playing muddy games with friends and going out for an adventurous childhood cycle ride is a sheer pleasure. Make your kids understand that childhood friendships are the ones that can last ever for a lifetime. Good moments spent now can register in young minds forever. Don’t we remember our first night out at best friend’s place or the tiffin sharing sessions in school? Small things can lead to substantial personality enhancement that evolves in later stages of life.
Kids can also develop a zeal to study or play better, stay socially active, and excel in school life with good friends. Maturity of managing tasks and taking up all challenges sportingly is possible when you have good friends around. When staying in groups and sharing diverse experiences, children tend to emerge as an intellectual person with loads of deep insights and acceptance for all situations. Do not intervene while kids are interacting with their pals. Allow them to liberally mingle with various children and decide on the ones whom they connect well. Parents can organize some activity-filled house gatherings for kids and allow them in to indulge in activities that allow group tasks.
Tips to make kids understand true friendship!
Do you have a good friend? Are you fond of friendships that last long? Then, be an example to convey your kids the outcomes of having valuable friends around you. Few other tips are as follows:
1. Show your kids some old memorable snaps, albums, or scrapbooks to display the connections you had. Convey them some exciting or funny instances with your friends that click their minds.
2. Allow your children to meet kids having similar interests and hobbies like dancing, music, swimming, or cricket. Kids enjoy sharing the same activities and indulge deeply with good company.
3. If you have an extremely introvert kid, you need to put in some extra efforts. Take them to a place where there are few kids and strike an interesting conversation to give your child a push.
4. Kids fight and get anxious over small things, and handling fights with wisdom is an integral part of friendship. Make them realize that we grapple with those whom we are fond of.
5. Arguments, laughter, contests, long talks, activity sessions, and enjoying meals are all a part of childhood friendship. Tell your kid that it is OK to argue over something, but this should not affect your relationship.
Making and sustaining childhood friends and how kids nurture good bonds requires a lot of expertise. As a parent, pulling the right string at the right moment can make a big difference. It might be challenging for young minds to grasp the depth of true friendship, so communicate to them the natural and understandable aspects of it. Narrating those stories about friends or watching relevant movies might help them to understand better. If you have a good family friend, call them up and arrange a suitable play date and fun dinner. Interaction between families always has a more profound impact on young minds.
Other small things through which you can impart friendship goals to kids is through art, crafts, cookie baking, or decorating the house. School friendship is vital and orates your child about the ‘friend troubles’ that are a part of every relation, and they must deal with them with proper understanding. After small fights, teach your kid to share small gestures like preparing cool greeting cards or cute handmade gifts. Also, give them confidence about what is acceptable in any friendship. If your child faces any extreme torture or bullying in the name of fun, tell them to open up boldly on it and ask for help. Friendship never teaches to bring someone down. Above all, Friendships in childhood involve the sharing of crayons, stationery, or tiffin and make sure your kids enjoy it.
How to help kids connect with friends during the lockdown?
COVID-19 and long term lockdown have led to the feeling of isolation and loneliness amongst people. Let’s try that our kids stay least affected by this, and their happy minds must consist of regular friend chats and sweet talks. Times are uncertain, and retaining the mental health of adults as well as kids is vital. Schools and universities are locked, summer vacations went in fear, and there is no hope when all would be normal. Meanwhile, kids are awaiting the parks and playgrounds where they use to enjoy with their buddies. Parents need to ensure that lockdown does not affect the friendship between kids, and utilizing the technology is a good option for this purpose.
Few ways to retain kids friendship in lockdown include:
Online play dates- Apps like zoom, skype, and FaceTime allow the virtual connection, and your kids can engage in chats with their friends. It is a great platform where they can share the drawings or school work and address their plans after completion of lockdown. Your kids would simply charge up with such interactions and retain enthusiasm to keep making new things.
Virtual party is trending- A virtual birthday celebration with the kids’ friend circle is the best surprise these days. The lockdown would soon wipe off, but these distinct celebration memories would reside in their hearts for a lifetime. Arrange games and music that kids can enjoy on groups call and spread some giggles in the atmosphere.
Create an online quiz- Make a group of your child’s friends on WhatsApp and be a host to interesting quiz contests. Isn’t it exciting? A weekly round of famous quiz would inhibit the thirst for knowledge in your little munchkin and create an interactive chat amongst kids. Prepare a list of questions as per the kids’ age and let them indulge in guessing games!
Plan a weekend games night- Kids are busy on weekdays with online classes and studies. Plan a thrilling virtual games night for them. There are many apps where kids can play games and engage in various interactions. You can also DIY some board games that they could play with through video calls or ask them to do some drama skills.
Are you aware of the Netflix party? It is an extension by Google Chrome, where kids can watch movies together and theme up in comic costumes for added fun. Imagination has no boundaries and stretches you to revive the real joy in kids. You can also undertake the conventional approach of penning down the letter to their friends. The level of warmth and affection that written notes and cards carry is unmatchable! Go and explore all possibilities to inculcate the friendship values in children, and they plan some most refreshing friendship day ideas!