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"Why I am telling my four and six-year-old daughters the truth about having a BFF."

The term ‘BFF’ or Best Friend Forever, is one most associate with a feeling of positivity.

It is a representation of someone important in your life. Someone who has provided friendship, reliability, permanence, unwavering support and trust often for a considerable amount of time and with the knowledge. It often comes with the belief that they will continue to do this forever.

Like Pacey and Dawson, Pooh and Piglet, Cher and Dionne, Rory and Lorelai, Romy and Michelle, Thelma and Louise, Buzz and Woody and possibly the most famous, Chandler and Joey (or is this just me?), the idea of the Best Friend Forever is one represented within popular culture directed at audiences of all ages.

Conversations between your best friends translated, because here’s what they really mean:

Video by MMC

In my house, my four and six-year-old girls love Disney movies and watching the BFF relationships of many characters such as Lilo and Stitch, Rapunzel and Pascal and Sven and Kristoff. They also like the TV show Alexa & Katie which is based on the BFF relationship of the two title characters.

Although these characters are generally pretty good examples of best friends, demonstrating all the qualities you would look for in one, it is also important to remember (and to tell kids) that they are also characters in a fictional show. And although sometimes prettier than real life, fiction is not always an accurate representation of reality.

For the majority of us, they are some of the most important relationships we will have. What I do question though, is the representation of the BFF. This idea of having one, singular best friend forever.

For some lucky people out there, they will be fortunate enough to find one of these BFFs that they will grow up with and who they will grow with as adults, maintaining their close bond and negotiating all the challenges life throws at you. But for many, this is not the reality.

 

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For a considerable amount of people, you have more than one best friend in your life. Sometimes there might be a handful, sometimes one or two. The reality of life sometimes means the person who you were best friends with at school won’t remain your best friend once you leave.

Sometimes you grow apart, sometimes you move away and distance becomes too much, sometimes you meet a best friend at a later stage in life so your friendships will change sometimes something will happen that cannot be overcome and sometimes other heartaches of life will tear you apart too soon.

The fact is having a best friend forever is not always going to happen for everyone, despite what Disney tells us and this is a truth I want my girls to know from a young age. It is okay not to have a BFF.

Despite the best friend charm that can only be split in two, I want my girls to know that you don’t need to choose just one best friend and you don’t need to remain their best friend forever. In fact, you don’t even need to remain their friend forever.

While it is important to be a loyal, trustworthy, supportive and dependable friend and that it is important to work on relationships and make effort. It is also imperative to know that sometimes things happen in life that change who we are and who other people are and not all friendships can be sustained and that is okay too.

How do you feel about BBFs? Do you tell your children it is okay not to have them? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Shona Hendley is a freelance writer from Victoria. An animal lover and advocate, ex secondary school teacher with a morbid fascination for true crime and horror movies, she is busy writing and raising her children: two goats, two cats and two humans. You can follow her on Instagram @shonamarion.

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