Best Friend

best friendI know it’s a cliche when parents think their kids are little angels, but in Sausage’s case, it really is true. She’s a lovely, kind little girl who seems to radiate ‘niceness’ everywhere she goes. Just last week, one of the canteen staff at her school pulled me to one side to tell me what a kind, polite little girl she is and it left Husband and I beaming with pride. Having such a sweet kid can sometimes have its downsides – other kids sometimes take advantage of her good nature and in Reception year we had trouble with one class member who really knew how to manipulate Sausage and play on her good nature.

Fortunately, Sausage has made a little group of firm friends who I really like and who all seem to have lovely, sweet natures like my own tender-hearted little girl. At the end of year 2, one of the members of their little group changed school and it left Sausage feeling a bit lost without one of her besties. Luckily, the rest of them banded together and Sausage is now even closer to her group, especially to the single male member of her clan who, I must say, is quite the little gentleman and has solemnly promised Husband and I that he’ll take care of our girl – and I believe him, too! Given that Sausage was quite a girly girl, I never expected her to have a male bestie but it seems to work really well.

Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and has worked with children, adolescents and families for over 15 years and has teamed up with VTech to give us Toot Toot Friends Ambassadors some really useful information about the concept of best friends. She says:

“Strong friendships often develop when a child is in a situation without their parent (e.g. nursery or child minder). Usually, it is the parent who acts as a safety blanket for their child – someone that their child turns to if they’re feeling unsure, someone who can give reassurance and encouragement. If a parent isn’t there, children will turn to other children for some of this support. Friendships can develop when a child finds it comforting, distracting and fun to be with another child – the more they spend time together the more comfort they will derive from this friendship. Whether a friend becomes a best friend can be highly dependent on the parents though. If a child talks a lot about another child from nursery, parents can act on this and invite the friend over for a playdate. However, if parents chose not to do this, there’s a good chance that the friendship won’t become quite so cemented.

As every adult knows, even best friends can be annoying or bewildering. However, a best friend is someone who is there through thick and thin, and who doesn’t hold a grudge. The same is true for little children. They won’t always get on with their best friends, and in fact may squabble with them quite a bit. However, their connection means that they make up easily and are quick to forget what made them cross. Children can also rehearse how to make up with friends by playing with dolls or figures such as the VTech Toot-Toot friends. Children, for example, can pretend that the Toot-Toot friends have had a disagreement before helping them to make up. Such imaginary play helps children to build up their confidence in making and keeping friends.”

Does your little one have a BFF? Do you ever worry bout a lack of best friend in their life or do you wish that they were less dependant on a best friend and broadened their friendship horizons slightly? Leave me a comment below.

One thought on “Best Friend

  1. We’re right in the ‘one best friend’ camp here, and it’s something I am worried about. N had this friend at nursery although the staff tell me they didn’t actually play together that much during nursery itself. But the other boy got into N’s school on appeal which they were both happy about. N actually knew 9 out of the 16 other kids, and some he was really close to at his other nursery. But he’s basically dropped all of them and it’s only this one boy he plays with. Thankfully the teacher’s recognised this and they’re separated at lunch, and in the group work they do, so I’m hoping N will branch out a bit with other people. Not happening so far, but it could be a problem if they get split into different classes in year 1 – those who need to remain in more play based way, stay in the first class with reception.

    He does however get on well with a girl in the year above (our nearest neighbour and she also goes to after school club with him), and his cousin who’s 2 years older, so hopefully as he moves through the school and wants to do other after school activities, maybe he’ll meet more people and be happier playing with lots.

    Thankfully the boy’s mum is a friend of mine too, and I think they feel a bit the same in trying to encourage more friendships.

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