Teaching Friendship

Last Updated by Danielle Melching on

Friendships take time, as there are many different stages of friendship- from momentary playmates to mature friendships that can last a lifetime.  There are many important skills that are learned through friendships such as language, social-emotional, problem solving, critical thinking, turn taking and so much more. Although, friendships in an early childhood setting look differently than friendships in a teenage setting, establishing the skills of friendship are vital for a child’s development.  These skills will not only build the foundation for friendships in young children, but will be carried with them throughout their entire lives as adults.  Caregivers can help children establish friendships by: modeling friendships with co-workers, using puppets, providing opportunities for children to work with partners in small and large group settings, or reading books about friendships and noticing and pointing out positive interactions being made.  You can find more information on what friendships are all about by looking at part 1 and part 2 of MSU Extension’s article series on friendships.

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Lauren and Philip Fisher are the Smith Leadership Circle Supportors for Programming in Children and Education

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