Making friends comes naturally to many children. Generally all parents need to do is to provide children with opportunities to play and mix with each other and leave the rest up to them.
Where does this ability to make friends come from? Some children are born with outgoing or sociable personalities that make them adept at making friends. The majority of children learn their friendship skills from the adults who inhabit their immediate environments - parents, relatives, teachers, childcare professionals and other significant adults in their lives.
Adults help children develop friendships by the quality of the relationships that they form with them. As the majority of children's behaviours are learned from observation or through interaction, adults can have a significant affect on children when they display appropriate relationship behaviours.
There are five positive social attributes that adults can model when they interact with children that will increase their ability to make friends. These attributes are:
As children grow and develop we can encourage in them a variety of friendship skills and talk with them about friendship difficulties that they may encounter. But it is the basic friendship skills that adults model for young children that will have the most far-reaching affect.
By Michael Grose. Michael Grose is one of Australia's most popular speakers and writers on parenting and family matters. He is the author of five books for parents and the father of three children.