It’s every parents’ secret hope.
My eldest son who turns four next week has finally got his first proper friend – hurrah! I know it doesn’t sound like much, but for my husband and I this is HUGE. We are beyond excited.
He used to be a really outgoing little boy, but over the last few years our son has become shy and not very confident (I’m thinking it might have been due to two hospital visits but who really knows). Anyway he hasn’t made any friends yet – until now.
Of course he regularly plays with his brother (ok, mostly fights) and cousins, and hangs out frequently with the children of my friends – but it’s not the same. This is forced friendship in a way, because he hasn’t actively chosen to spend time with these children. Plus most of my friends have girls so he probably feels a bit left out in those instances.
I know it's quite normal though for young children to play by themselves a lot until they get to a certain age, but you still can't help worrying about it.
I actually think having friends is a much bigger mental tick for your children than many academic or physical achievements and milestones, because in life, friends are everything. They can make you happy, help and support you, give you confidence, and much more.
A little while ago my son did talk regularly about a boy from his kindy who he apparently played with, but I soon realised he was just telling me he played with him every day (I was suspicious and checked with the teachers). They learn lip service young.