Friendships in pre-school age (psychosocial development)
Friendships are important for children, they are the perfect training ground for developing social skills. Friendships also increase your child's self-confidence. The contact with peers is also so important because your child will grow from these relationships. As parents, you can only fulfill this to a limited extent, since you represent a kind of authority figure and, above all, have an educational mandate to fulfill. Through friendships, children learn things that are otherwise difficult to teach, e.g. to trust a friend, to show feelings, to make compromises, to stand up for their beliefs and also to deal with conflicts.
Friendships look different at every age, including children.
Children usually make their first friendships around the age of three. At this age, the choice of friends is usually still quite arbitrary. It is often chosen based on who is currently playing with you, who is sharing, who likes the same games. In addition, the friend must be "just nice". Friendships are usually made quickly at kindergarten age, but they are also ended just as quickly.
This is how preschoolers make friends
The first friendships usually develop in kindergarten or on the playground. In order to “get close” to other children, children usually first observe from a safe distance. If the children's verbal skills are not quite as mature, they have non-verbal tactics to get in touch with other children. For example, they imitate the behavior of the other children, try to draw attention to themselves by shouting, or integrate themselves directly into the game. It may also be that the child starts sharing their toys with the others in order to socialize. Usually that's enough and the spell is broken. Because, as mentioned above, friendships form very quickly in kindergarten age.
What can I do if my child finds it difficult to make friends
give to your child Time. Normally, children find out for themselves how to get in touch with other children. It is also a question of type how quickly a child comes into contact with others. Introverted children tend to take a little longer to reach out to other children, and that's absolutely nothing to worry about. You should refrain from requests such as "don't be so rude, go to the other children and ask if you can play with them!" because they can make your child feel uncomfortable or pushed by you, although they are not yet ready for it feels ready.
if your child introvert or shy, it is advisable to adjust the setting for your child. Many children find it easier to get in touch with individual children. You can support it here by inviting a child to your home. In the best case, your child has already expressed an interest in the other child. Your child will find it easier to open up and interact with the other child in a familiar setting.
Promote the play ability your child. In kindergarten, friendships are usually made through playing, which is why children with creative play ideas are usually very popular very quickly. You can encourage your child's ability to play by playing with them imaginatively, so to speak, practicing playing. The point here is not that you actively play with your child for hours, but that you and your child look for ideas and suggestions for games that they can then implement on their own or with other children. For example, at the age of three to five years, dressing up or building caves are an absolute classic, you should of course have the appropriate equipment for this.
Show your child that friendships are something Valuable are. Maintain your contacts with friends and relatives yourself. Your child should see that having friends is very rewarding and brings joy.
Invite friends over regularly, show your child the role as Your Hosts. If your child has friends over, be a good host too, but you should withdraw when the time comes and let the children be alone.
Show Interest to your child's friends. Ask about them, ask what they have experienced together. Of course, it shouldn't be a round of questions but showing your child that friendships are something important and worth talking about.
Discuss with your child Behaviorsthat are important in a friendship. For example, you should talk about what happens when conflicts arise, that on the one hand it is important to stand up for yourself, but on the other hand compromises have to be made. The topic of sharing is also part of a friendship. If you see behaviors in your child that make it difficult for them to make friends (e.g., they are very bossy), discuss these behaviors with them. As you do this, be calm and appreciative, explaining how others (in this case, you) feel about your child engaging in these behaviors.
You cannot and should not influence whether your child is more of a loner or feels more comfortable in a group. Remember, your child is a unique individual with their own needs, and most importantly, your child happy and carefree can be.