Helping Your Children Deal with Friendship Break Up
Ever wondered how your children negotiate friendship breakups? This article gives you tips on how to be there for your child and assist them in case of friendship break ups.
As parents, it is very possible to ignore the topic of child’s friendship breakups. Few parents take time to ponder its implications to a child. Children making friends is taken as a norm. Parents often make efforts to help their children make friends and very rarely are parents conscious about the friendship breakups for their growing children. As such, much is written about how to help children socialize and at higher levels of learning a term called “socialization” is studied and examined and less on the topic of friendship breakups among children.
Helping children handle friendship breakup is as paramount as helping them to form new 0nes. Some questions emerge. Are children conscious about friendships breakups? Are they able to deliberately choose not to socialize with a friend whom they were very close? Well, answers to these questions can be best understood once one admits that children experience life differently depending on their age and how much the older members of society influence their decisions.
Before we venture into the process of helping a child deal with friendship breakup, it is important to go through what friendship to a child is and what it means. Again, it is not possible to generalize the meaning for all children. Friendship bond has a lot to do with the cognitive mind. It has an element of the thought process. However, children rely more on motor sensory skills where the world is experienced through touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight. As such for children, friendship is enhanced around these sensory skills.
To a child who has not reached the cognitive analysis where they are able to differentiate between good and bad, what they call friends are their peers who can experience with them their world through their own way. It is common to hear that for one to understand a child, he or she must be willing to be like one. This means being able to experience life and make meaning of the child’s world the way the child would. A child’s friend will hear what the child hears, see what the child sees, smell what the child smells and more to that the friend must be able to exhibit the same emotions a child would.
At what point then does the child break up a friendship? Understanding this stage sets the stage for understanding how as a parent you can help your child then be able to deal with breakups. A child friendship would break when the child experiences undesirable emotions out of the relationship. This thought means that a friend to child must be as close to the particular child in many aspects. One caveat though is that children do not keep grudges and are able to overcome the undesirable feelings rather easily compared to adults. This tends to make it difficult for the child to define and keep enemies as it were.
Child friendship may break if the peer is faster than the child as they play, is much stronger and hence rough during play compared to him or her. If during their play, a child friend does not take part in what the other want and the trend is repeated over and over again, then such a relationship might be undesirable for the child. Children love competition but one where all are winners and not one where a particular child wins all the time. An all time winner intimidates the other and makes them uncomfortable. A child who overpowers the others all time is considered a bully and instills fear.
How then does a parent help a child handle a situation of friendship breakup?