Friendships are an important part of our lives and with guidance children can be supported to have safe and successful relationships with their friends. Friendships continue to develop and evolve as children move throughout their childhood and adolescent years . Friendships often form the basis of our understanding of different relationships so it is important that we support our tamariki to understand what makes a good friend and also how to cope with different points of view or opinions. Having open communication and an active interest in your children’s friendships helps to create a healthy ongoing conversation around friendships as children move through their school-aged years.
It is also important for children to understand and recognise different emotions in themselves and others so that they are able to respond appropriately and can identify what makes a good friend. Friendship links in with a number of important characteristics such as kindness, empathy, trust and compassion, all of which are great skills to set our children up with!
Resources to help:
School Age Friendships: How to Support Them
Advice for when talking with children about the death of someone
Helping Kids Navigate Playground Politics
Ideas to help support your children in the school playground with friendships
Kids who need a little help to make friends
An article with tips on how to support your child when they are having difficulties making friends
How to Help Kids be Grateful and Kind
Ideas on how to help your child to be kind
An article that explains the role parents have to play in their children’s friendships
School Age: Development Tracker
A site that explains child development including the development of play and friendship
The Lesson Brené Brown’s Daughter Learned About Trust
A video about helping children to understand the importance of trust