A few weeks ago we had some new temporary neighbours move in. Our neighbour is renting her house for the summer through Air BnB and so we have rotating neighbours. For the past three weeks it has been a couple with their eight year old daughter. Our two oldest girls were thrilled to have a new playmate next door. They were off and playing within minutes of the arrival of their new friend.
Their friend left yesterday to go home and they were all pretty bummed about it. It is amazing how quickly kids can become friends. In many cases childhood friendship is about proximity – or at least that is how they start. Find someone about the same size who likes something that you like and away you go. The friendship will deepen the more they play together, until they don’t like each other anymore.
It is impressive that many of us retain relationships with people we first met as kids and then grew up with. In spite of the fact that the depth of the relationship may vary over time, those relationships can be enduring.
As adults we could stand to learn some lessons from our kids about friendships, especially when it comes to making new friends. We have learned to fear rejection. What if I ask to be someone’s friend and they say no? When we are growing up we encounter people who reject our overtures of friendship or who say no when asked on a date. We discover that we don’t like how it feels when someone rejects us and as a result it gets harder to walk over and introduce ourselves to someone new.
Maybe it is time to remind ourselves how to make new friends like we did when we were kids.
Tips from Kids on Making Friends
- Look for someone your size
Run over, ask “do you want to play?”
Take a break
Find another person your size
Ask them to play too
Repeat as necessary
Strip away all the anxiety and pressure we place on ourselves and just go say hi. The one thing we can know for certain is that we won’t make a new friend if we don’t take that first step of asking if someone wants to come and play.The one thing we can know for certain is that we won't make a new friend if we don't take that first step of asking if someone wants to come and play.Click To Tweet