Friendship at Arborland

Friendship at Arborland
By Ms. Mel
February is International Friendship Month. We are lucky to have a close-knit community here at Arborland. From our mixed age and diverse classrooms, to our 12:1 student-teacher ratio, our students get the opportunity to establish close friendships with their schoolmates. In order for children to be able to form friendships, they need to have a foundation of self-respect and self-confidence. Through our Grace and Courtesy lessons, our teachers and our classrooms provide an environment where children learn to have respect for themselves, respect for their environment, and respect for others. Learning respect and positive social behavior goes hand in hand in fostering friendships. In order for children to have good friends, they must first be a good friend. By learning basic courtesy such as taking turns and keeping their hands to themselves, to learning communication and listening skills, to learning problem solving and conflict resolution skills, our students are given an important foundation on which they can build relationships with others.

We all want our children to have great friends and also to be a good friend to others. Making friends, and keeping them, is an important life skill. It’s important to guide our children to make wise decisions. As children grow older, the chances of conflict or disagreements increase and although this is normal, children need to learn to independently resolve conflicts within their social circle. Teachers and parents can give children the tools to build relationships, handle and solve conflict, and choose good friends. In addition to our Grace and Courtesy lessons here at Arborland, we encourage you to continue the learning at home by discussing positive social behavior and friendship with your children. Here are some questions to get you started:
Ask your children:
What does it  mean to be a good friend?
What do you look for in a friend?
What do your friends do that you like?
What do your friends do that you don’t like?
How do you respond when a friend isn’t kind?
How do you think your friends feel when you aren’t kind?
Do you think it’s okay to have more than one friend?
How would it make you feel if friends were excluding you?

For more “Friendship” related discussion and information, we highly recommend checking out this article written for children: Friendship – Child and Youth Health