Have you ever really taken the time to think about all the subtle lessons that your child is learning when they go to their weekly term time before or after school class, or their school holiday camp or programme?
And it’s not even necessarily about the actual activity they have chosen to do… these life skills can be learnt through so many different activities and clubs and classes.
In the past 3 blogs, we looked at decision-making skills, self-esteem and confidence, socialisation skills and now to the all-important developing of friendships.
Friends and friendships are so important for school age children. As your little one starts school, his or her world suddenly becomes much bigger, and relationships with other people become more important. Good friends enable children to feel like they belong, making them feel safe and comfortable in the world. And that is so important on so many levels; most children will already feel this way at home, but the outside world may feel a little less stable and safe to them. Making friends is a wonderful way to connect them to their broader environment.
As children develop friendships, they are learning many important life skills; they have to learn how to interact with others, they begin to see another point of view and they start to learn how to navigate conflicts and problems.
Some children are very social and find it easy to make friends, but some find it harder. Kids holiday activities or camps are a wonderful way to encourage this. Because they are meeting other children with the same interests, it is often easier for them to make friends in these environments.
We all know how important it is to have good friends, and how supported we feel when we do. It’s the same for children. And so, if we can provide them an environment where they can develop these friendships with other like-minded children… it’s got to be good for them.