'Friendship' spelled with Scrabble letters on blue background

I don’t believe that someone is either your friend or not, but I do believe that there are degrees of friendship. There are people you are super close to and then there are other friends that you see occasionally. Then there are friends you say hi to but don’t necessarily socialise with. A person, whether they are an adult or a child, can have many friends that fit into one of these three boxes (there are probably more than three but I want to keep this simple).

Many children think that they have to be someone’s friend to be friendly. They are friends or not friends – no middle ground. It’s very black and white for some children and I am not really sure where this thought process is coming from. Possibly parents talking about their own friends saying this person is my friend and this person isn’t? But there is no reason not to talk to someone just because they are not in the same friendship group or they are different to you. This is really happening. I have children who sit in front of me telling me they don’t say hi to people in their class because they are not friends with them and they only talk to their friendship group.

There Are Many Degrees Of Friendships

We need to get them to see that you can be friendly towards everyone and that they can be friends with more than just their immediate circle.

Let’s try and get them to speak to more people, and be more welcoming to others that they do like but don’t usually hang around with. It mayBeing Me And Loving It Cover Image - Naomi Richards - The Kids Coach lead to their friendship circle getting bigger and, actually, it is nice when others are friendlier back.

Encourage your children to be more social and to change the way they think about friends and see that more is merrier. Adults also need to change our language and how we talk about who our friends are. We shouldn’t be unkind to others we aren’t keen on and should show how we can still be friendly towards those people.

There should be more grey areas in friendships. Children can learn more about friendships and how they work in my parenting book, Being Me (And Loving It)

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