• Debbie Pickles

Making Friends at Nursery

A Friend is a person who you know well and who you like, but who is usually not a member of your family:

Making friends is an essential part of growing up. Even as adults, our friends are an important part of our lives. We all want our children to make friends, and early childhood friendships can have many benefits

At Charlestown and Chinley Day Nursery we understand the importance of forming friendships at an early age, the benefits it can have on your children and what you can do to support your child’s early friendships in the nursery.

Supports Development

Forming friendships helps support children’s emotional and social development. It boosts self-esteem and confidence, enabling children to know more about themselves.

Friendships contribute to helping children to express how they feel and understand how others feel. By sharing experiences and feelings, children learn how to meet the social needs of others, educating them to interact more respectfully with other children.

Promotes Positivity

Having friends can promote a more positive outlook on life and will help children enjoy coming to nursery. Having friends at nursery can make a child feel valued and gives them a sense of belonging, it can help when a child has been through a change in their family life such as bereavement or separation.

Encourages Good Behaviour

Positive friendships contribute to the encouragement of good behaviour. Friends have a powerful influence on your child’s performance. It can help teach empathy and kindness, helping friends can have a positive effect on emotions and help children feel proud when helping friends when they appear sad or unhappy.

You can also encourage good friendship behaviour by interacting positively with others in front of your child. Watching you be kind to others teaches your child to do the same.

We don’t always make friends easily.

Some children find it more difficult than others to make friends and some may not need many friends to be happy. Always support your child’s personality. While some children may jump straight into a group, others need to assess the situation first.

At Charlestown and Chinley we allow children to decide on close friendships but encourage our children to be friends with everyone, encouraging kindness and understanding of others' needs. Talking about sharing and listening to others from an early age helps develop bonds between children who have grown and developed together. Encouraging children to be inclusive in play and allow others to join in will ensure our children leave nursery accepting other children and will encourage them to nurture friendships. We should accept that not all children will form close bonds with their peers and are happy to play alone or alongside others, we will gently encourage group activities and allow children to decide for themselves.

As a parent, you can educate your child on how to interact with others and support the friendships they do make by always being respectful to others and demonstrating positive behaviours towards others.

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