The increased use of social media can mean that making strong, genuine and lasting friendships in today’s world is really challenging. A tactic I use with my two young children is to limit devices where possible. This makes more time for them to connect with family and the world around them. I have loved using this time to introduce my kids to games I used to play as a kid, like hopscotch, elastics, or playdough. I believe we should give our kids the space and time they need but also the opportunity to be present and removed from devices.
Friendship problems are a struggle for people of all ages. It’s important to communicate with your kids about any issues they might be having in their friendship circles and offer them tools to work through them. Even in your own friendship group, if something is wrong, communication is the key to resolution. Sometimes, even if you don’t want to have the conversation, you need to talk about it to reach a solution. My advice is to be comfortable being uncomfortable – if these people mean enough to you, you need to make the effort to resolve conflict.
Most importantly, cherish the friendships you have and make time for them. It is from our role modelling, that our tamariki will learn the importance of friendship.