Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Making friends

Isabel's now into her third term at school - she's settling into a group of friends, and even has a best friend. Interestingly, our neighbour's daughter, who is also in her class, is not in this group, and they don't really seem to interact at all at school. Both of them appear to have agreed that they are "home friends" but not school friends, and both are very happy with this. Strikes me as strange, but seems to work for them.

The issue which I'm thinking about at the moment is whether it's a good thing or not to have a best friend at this stage. I'm concerned that having a best friend may mean that Isabel doesn't interact as much as she could do with other children in the class, and that if the best friend relationship turns sour then she could be stranded without a network of other friends to fall back on. So far that seems to be a groundless fear since she does mention playing with other children (all girls, it should be added - boys don't seem to feature at all on her radar yet as potential playmates!). And I'm trying to encourage a range of friendships by inviting various children home for tea - we have one coming on Friday (sausages and mash for tea!) and another on Monday (macaroni cheese!). The best friend can come too of course, but a little later this term. Not quite brave enough to invite more than one child at a time - refereeing between two extremely over-excited five year olds is as much as I can manage at the moment.

I think the line I'll try to follow is to encourage her to have a best friend, but with the caveat that a group of friends can also be enormously valuable. As they say, "books and friends should be few but good".

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