Having friends About 75% of preschoolers meet friends in school. By adolescence 80 to 90% are reported having mutual friends,
usually including one or two best friends and several good friends.
The formation of groups is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Belonging to a group,
whether it's a sports team, fraternity or political party, provides a sense
of belonging. Between the ages of 10 to 12 cliques may begin to form; as children
mature and rely less on their parents for guidance, they turn to their
The amount of time spent with friends increases the most during middle
childhood and adolescence. Teenagers spend almost a third of their
waking time in the company of friends. Most adolescents move away from
relying on family and parents and begin to develop close ties with friends.
The quality of friendship are important. The well known "peer pressure"
effect which starts in early adolescence, although positive for many,
can also have negative consequences. Learning to deal with peer
pressure, competition and difference is a necessary part of development.
Helping children deal with pressure from friends is more important than
protecting them from it.
⦁ Helping children develop emotionally and socially
⦁ It is a training ground for trying out different ways of relating to others
⦁ Setting up rules, weighing alternatives and make decisions when faced with dilemmas
⦁ Friendship teaches us how to win, how to lose, what's appropriate, what's not
⦁ We learn about social standing and power - who's in, who's out, how to lead and how to follow, what's fair and what's not
⦁ We see examples of how they're both similar to and different from others
⦁ Developing friendships and belonging to a group, because it helps children improve their sense of self-esteem
Human beings are social beings. We come into the world programmed to respond and relate to others. Early in life children begin to interact with children outside the family - in child care settings, play groups, and preschool programs. The friendships children have with each other are different than those they have with parents and relatives. Starting young and continuing through adulthood, friendships are among the most important activities of life. Friendships are not just a luxury; they are a necessity for healthy psychological development.