What I Want my Girls To Know About Friendship

Yesterday was a pretty rad day!  The girls and I started off the day by attending an event at a local waffle shop, where we enjoyed good eats, great company, crafts and an egg hunt with other mothers and their littles.

I was overjoyed watching the girls connect so effortlessly with other children.  I am always amazed by the instant bond children can make with one another.  There's a lot that can be learned from their example of kindness, acceptance and friendship.

Teaching my children how to be a good friend is so important to me.  I want my children to treat their peers with kindness and acceptance and I hope {more than anything} that other children will reciprocate that behavior.

I love being surrounded by my daughters and their friends.  I feel so fortunate that both E and O have many wonderful friends.  Having friends in our home has been a great blessing for both them and me.  Their ability to communicate, play, and interact has blossomed right before my eyes.  Playtime can come with many challenges, at times, but we're all learning together how to communicate, share and play peacefully with one another.  It's all a work in progress.  Isn't that how every stage is?

I have listed a few things that I encourage Olivia and Emery to work on when they are with their friends.

Teach your children that they can talk with their friends about anything from their favorite game or activity, to their feelings and joys/sorrows.  Encourage them by sitting down and having discussion as a group.  This behavior will especially help them work through disagreements and arguments.

Teaching patience to a child is especially hard.  It's right up there with the concept of sharing.  I have my girls stop, breathe and start over when they have lost their patience and are flustered.  Communication is also imperative when patience is an issue - an understanding of why they need to be patient is key.  When one of my girls is struggling with being patient while a friend is having a turn with a toy, I like to point out the joy that sharing has brought to their friend.  Children will begin to understand that being patient with friends makes for a more peaceful, happier environment.

I have been blessed with two daughters that have very different personalities.  Their differences have taught me a lot about the importance of accepting and celebrating individuality.  It is important to me that my daughters understand and feel the same way about others.  Knowing that everyone has differing ideas, strengths, likes/dislikes during playtime and accepting and respecting those differences is very significant.

Kindness in every situation can be very difficult for children to understand.  Encouraging, practicing and teaching through example will help children form the habit of being kind.

Repetition and patience (I have to constantly remind myself of this) is best to keep in mind when teaching these concepts.  Positive encouragement and small rewards can also be very helpful!

Best wishes, Friends!

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