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Kiddy Cliques: Children And How They Form Friendships

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I’ve often heard women say that after marriage they often “lose” a lot of girlfriends, either to different lifestyles, careers, a move, and/or a husband and family of their own.

I’ve also heard many women attest that, that all changes once they start a family of their own. In fact, many profess that finding friends is “easier” after giving birth, as moms find each other just about anywhere imaginable, forging friendships on behalf of their children.

And, while striking up a conversation and a friendship with a stranger may seem strange to you, experts assert that it’s just as complex for your child, and each age presents (social) challenges of its own.

Up To One Year:

· Children are apt to literally reach out for each other

· Children imitate one another, so if one cries, the likelihood of another joining in is quite likely

· Babies begin to show preference for other infants by singling out another they find appealing and smiling at each other back and forth.

· Infants begin to comprehend the concept of interactions and the notion that if one does something the other will or should do something else. (You do this, and I’ll do that mentality develops).

Up To Two Years:

· Children at this age are attracted to others who are doing the same thing they are.

· Babies begin to express interest in others outside of the immediate family

· They begin to create scenarios that allow for interaction and getting noticed. For instance a child may grab a blue ball to attract the attention of another child who is holding a blue ball.

· Increased attempts to interact, such as staring, touching, cooing, or even “hitting”.

· Body language begins to come into play as it changes to express excitement at the site of a friend.

· Children at this age major the art of silent lucidity where they don’t need words to communicate of have fun. Just being around each other is often enough.

2 Years Old:

· Toys and items they play with become increasingly more meaningful and important

· They are more prone to conflict since they don’t understand social etiquette and are not able to understand a different point of view.

· Mimicking each other and others becomes a powerful tool and pastime.

3 Years Old:

· Children become more inclined to play nicely together and learn the art and concept of sharing and taking turns.

· Language becomes more developed and social skills more refined taking friendships to new levels

· Friendship shifts from “doing things to together” to “being together”.

· Pretend play is a major part of the experiences of this age group.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Kiddy Cliques: Children And How They Form Friendships

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