Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Early Childhood Friendships

I love to watch two small toddler or preschool friends greet each other with big bear hugs. It’s so sweet. Did you know that these early friendships can also promote important social and emotional development? Though some friendships can start as early as 30 months, it is more common to see early friendships emerging with three and four-year-olds. Some benefits of these relationships include:

• learning the concept of give and take

• developing greater confidence

• building self-esteem

• developing empathy

• gaining a broader understanding of the world around them

Rhonda Little, a teacher at Central Child Development Center in Kannapolis, gave me a wonderful example of the lasting impact of some early childhood friendships. Her brother, she tells me, met his best friend in Kindergarten. Now adults, one is a police officer and the other an architect, they have maintained their early friendship through many live changing experiences and currently get together at least once a week.

My best friend is named Janice Todd. She was my neighbor growing up. We can go a year or two without seeing each other in person, yet we can pick up a conversation as if we’d seen each other the day before. Do you have a truly great friend from childhood?

Katherine Generaux, Community Inclusion Director

1 comment:

  1. My friend, Wilma, and I have known each other since we were two years old. We lived across the street from each other when we met and shared many fun times playing together. When Wilma moved to a different neighborhood, we still remained close friends. I then moved to a different city when I was ten years old. This did not bring an end to our friendship. We visited each other during vacations and long weekends and communicated through lots of letters. We rarely called each other, as this was in the pre-cell phone days and long distance calls were expensive----- (remember the days we were anchored to one spot in the house when using the phone? :) We continued to be intentional in nuturing our friendship throughout our teens and adult life. We have shared many life-changing moments as well as the daily sutff --now through email and cell phones and visits. I have lived two states away for almost 30 years, and we are still close friends. Just last year, Wilma drove up here to help me with my daughter's wedding reception. She basically took over the whole food thing and prepared a beautiful banquet for the reception! (Priceless!) There is nothing like knowing someone (outside the family) who knows you so well and shares childhood experiences with you and your family. I encourage young parents to help their children sustain lifetime friendships with at least one to several childhood friends. Now because of Facebook, other internet social networks and cell phones, a child may have a great many "friends", but actually this could be confusing for a child, socially. Encourage the one on one relationship with other children who get along well with your child so that the relationship will blossom over a long period of time. I attest to the fact that it is well worth the effort. I have also reconnected wtih friends from childhood/school, like Katherine and others and I love the way technology has allowed for this. These friendships remain strong, even though we are geographically thousands of miles apart, because there was a solid foundation built in our young years.