How Children Develop Friendships and What Parents Can and Should or Cannot and Should Not Do to Help

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Friendships broaden children’s horizons; they share their joys, secrets, and accompany them on their journeys into ever wider worlds. However, friends can also gossip, betray, tease, and exclude. Children can cause untold suffering, not only for their peers but for parents as well. In Best Friends, Worst Enemies, Michael Thompson, Ph.D., Catherine O’Neill Grace, talk about the role that friendships play in the lives of children from birth to adolescence.
This book is about the importance of children’s social lives, the tendency of kids to torment and reject their peers, and the redemptive power of friendship. Every parent and teacher watches children’s relationships played out in front of them every day. We see some isolated kids standing
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Discussing the social lives of children from pre-school to adolescence, the authors emphasize the importance of healthy family relationships as the basis for friendship. It provides a useful perspective on the range of friendship patterns, normal differences between boys and girls in forming friendships, and more.
How do children learn to connect with others? How do they learn to welcome and trust, social contact? How do they learn to enjoy other people and to love them? Friendships are a vital part of growing up. One of the most important is that children are able to experience and experiment among friends without considering the adult aspect of the situation. While children develop at different rates socially, most research shows that children should have a very good foundation of social skills by the age of six. Friendships are difficult to measure and value.
What is a friend exactly? According to the Oxford Dictionaries a friend is a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations (Oxford Dictionaries, 2011). The author states that “it is the mother who becomes the child’s first friend”. The phrase “best friend” sometimes can become a mystical significance for children and adults. Some parents

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