Lessons Children Learn from Friendship

A true friendship can greatly enrich your life. In fact, some of us hold our dear friends in higher regards than our siblings and sometimes even our parents. Friends are there for you when you need them and you reciprocate in kind. There are many lessons to be learned from friendship and these can be particularly valuable for children as they emotionally mature and learn more about how life works.

While children discover certain basics of behaviour at home with their parents and brothers and sisters, it is usually the friends they make outside the home that help to teach them about functioning in an group. While exposure to other children in school can have an effect, a child’s closer dealings with friends goes along the way in helping to define their own identity.

The time spent with friends can be educational, can further emotional development, and also improves the child’s physical health, thanks to the games and other forms of physical activities that friends engage in.

As with most everything in life, friendships are a learned skill. Children come to realize that if they treat their friends with respect, it will be shown to them in return. Interactions with a trusted person like a friend can teach children the skills they need to interact well with both people their age and adult authority figures.

Allowing children to find and foster friendships on their own is important because it teaches the child to analyze people and select ones who share common interests with them and, thus, are the most compatible.

Spending time with other children is also a great way to introduce them to new things. For example, if a parent tries to force a child to take up a sport, they will likely resist. However, if they discover the joys of that activity on their own by doing it with friends, they are more likely to engage in it on a regular basis.

In Pain Following the End of a Friendship?

During the course of their life, the average person will have several friendships that are extremely important to them. In fact, some people will hold their best friends in higher regard than their families or even spouses. It is not surprising then that when one such a friendship ends, it can be emotionally devastating.

Has a friendship that you hold in particularly high regard ended recently? Are you having trouble dealing with the emotional fallout? If so, these tips can help you to restore your balance:

Everyone changes

Do you feel you are the same person you were five years ago? How about 10 years ago? 20 years? Through a combination of maturity and life experience, we change as we grow older. That applies to other people, too. There can be a number of reasons why friendships end, but some discontinue simply because the people involved are no longer the same as they were when it started.

Accept the outcome

Sometimes a friendship will end and one party will not accept that it is over. They will cling on to the hope that it can somehow be restored. This is emotionally dangerous and can make an unpleasant situation even worse. If your friendship has ended, and you are certain that there is no mending the fence, accept this fact and move on with your life.

Try Journaling

When we are in emotional pain, it is common to bottle it up inside and just shut down. This causes it to linger and make life even more challenging. Try taking your emotional pain and putting it down on paper in a journal. This is a good way to get it out of your system and you can look back at it later on as a reminder of what you were going through if a similar situation ever arises.