Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Do Kids Need Friends? - 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 peers.
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.
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