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FRIENDSHIP, the greatest gift in life

Friendship is an integral part of children, teenagers, and adult life, yet a human doesn’t have to have friends.

A person’s genetic makeup affects one’s friendship preferences, resulting in a person becoming a social butterfly or a loner.

A child learns to interact with others around them from birth, process their actions, and develop friendships and other relationships.

Healthy relationships build a child’s self-esteem, the ability to resolve conflicts, build communication skills, and the ability to trust and connect with others around them.

Experiences from birth through to adulthood impact how we interact with others around us!

How can parents assist their children in becoming well-integrated members of society?

• Take your baby/child with you when running daily activities so that they will see how to interact with others respectfully and positively.

• Arrange playdate opportunities so your child can interact with peers.

• Encourage sharing, taking turns, cooperating, listening, and sorting out disagreements.

• Demonstrating your love through words and physical affection is the ideal way of teaching your child how to express compassion and love to others.

• As your child becomes older, please encourage your child to choose their friends.

• Non-judgmental communication with your child is vital, so take time to listen, support, guide, and understand your child’s anxiety relating to friendships. DO NOT take over and confront parents or children.

• Understand that adolescents not only want to please their peers, but they also want to be more like them, value their opinions, and spend more time with peers rather than family.

• Open communication channels between teenagers and parents will allow parents to chat about social relationships and values. It will also enable your teenager the opportunity to discuss social conflicts and areas they are anxious about.

Your child’s social development is not only complex but constantly changing.

Modelling healthy relationships and staying connected with your child will help them relate better with others around them.

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