An educator tells a child, "We don't hit our friends." The child responds, "He is not my friend." This is a true story that happened as I observed students during a clinical practicum class. For some reason, in early childhood education programs, many educators habitually use the word “friends” when they talk to children. "Let's hold hands, friends" or "time to sit together, friends." They also spend time reminding children that everyone in the program is a friend. What’s the problem with forcing the concept of friendship on children? I think that the simple vignette offered at the beginning of this blog is the answer.
Friendships are developed, sustained, and nurtured. Relationships take time, commitment, and dedication. This past weekend, I spent time with a group of friends; we laughed, cried, argued, disagreed, contradicted, empathized, listened, interrupted, challenged each other, and reflected together. Little by little, we continued to build the foundation of our future relationships. Friendships require us to give part of ourselves to others..Friendships are powerful, and they help us develop our identity. We have the right to choose who we call friends and define the values that will determine the relationship. That is the reason that we must not force friendships on children. We must honor them and believe in their ability to define their own friendships.
Welcome to the blog! The place where I play with words, play with questions, and often go down the rabbit hole.
I invite you to read and ask questions, be inspired, and discover your thoughts and ideas.