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We all need friends but children even more because those relationships will make them understand a different world outside the family. Since children are very young, friendship is a fundamental part of childhood. True friendships help children expand horizons, build self-confidence, and share joys.
Friendships in childhood are not just fun and games, they are positive relationships that have profound benefits for the development of the little ones. A close friendship in childhood increases feelings of self-esteem and is that as the saying goes: 'Who has a friend, has a treasure'.
Although infants and young children may enjoy spending time with other children, children do not create true friendships (friendships based on mutual recognition, trust, giving and taking) until around age 5.
It is very important for parents to avoid labels such as 'shy', or phrases like, 'he likes to be alone', as it can affect the child's life throughout life. What is necessary is that parents help their child to play with other children and if situations cause stress to the child the ideal is to redirect the child's attention to a game or another game and remind him that he is not alone.
At these ages, friendships begin to have another meaning for the little ones. The friendships that children made at school in the nursery are really important to them. School-friendly children tend to do better in primary education. Fights between children can also start around 6 years old, but they also develop friendships based on trust.
It is important for parents at these ages to help them listen to you when they are told things and also to recognize feelings, to value different results and to model conflict resolution appropriately.
But as children enter preadolescence and throughout adolescence, friendship plays a major role in their lives as they will spend more time with friends than with family.
But what if your kid's friend is a bad influence? As parents you will have to be careful if a friend is a bad influence, but without directly accusing. Avoid negative judgments and criticism, what is essential is to have an open door to dialogue and good communication with your child. To achieve this you will have to base yourself on respect, support and understanding and put aside authoritarianism.
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