Developing Relationships

Michelle Verne

Student-parents at CSUN,

My daughter is approaching her third birthday and is currently in preschool.  This is a time when making friends is easiest, she doesn’t need me to make any introductions, as soon as she sees a child her age, she’s ready to play.  Playing with other children at this age, gives a child the opportunity to develop their social skills and to even engage in role play.  It also provides the chance for them to learn to share.

Sometimes, the opposite affect can occur.  A best friend a 3-year-old might make one day, doesn’t have to be the same best friend the next day.  At times, a friend might just be the child that has your child’s favorite toy.  This is a time when children are learning competition and how to develop problem-solving skills.  But at the same time, it can be a little hard for a parent to handle, when they see a newly formed friendship have its first tiff.  I often remind myself, it’s part of growing up.

By the time a child reaches 4-years-old, the problem-solving skills become better and the child starts to learn more productive ways to communicate.  This is a time when a child learns to ask, instead of grab.  But until your child reaches this stage, it’s best to for them to learn to manage their relationships on their own, while you watch from the sidelines.  I’ve found that letting them work things out on their own whenever possible, allows them to gain more perspective and gives them a process in which they can manage their friendships.