Why you shouldn’t force friendships on your kids.

We all want our kids to have friends. But...

We all want our kids to have friends and we want them to be friendly and sociable however there is no need to force kids to get along. Parents will often tell their youngsters to play nicely with everyone but what if they just don’t get along with a certain kiddie? Here is why you shouldn’t force friendships on your kids.
  • Look at ourselves- As adults we have a handful of friends and don’t get along with everyone so why should we force our tiny ones to play with people they don’t have anything in common with or quite simply their personalities don’t mash well. It is ok for adults to be acquaintances with many people but keep them at arm’s length and that should be fully acceptable for kids too.
  • Kids are different- Kids play games, and do things completely differently to the way in which we socialise so it is only natural that they won’t be best friends with everyone. Saying that teaching your child that while they don’t have to be best mates with everyone but remind them that they need to be kind and generous to others. It doesn’t take a lot to have a mutual respect for someone though you may not mix on a daily basis. You will find your tiny one may prefer large groups of friends or smaller groups and will disengage from the opposite therefore leaving some friendships behind along the way.
  • Kids change alliances daily or weekly- Kids are fickle and even when you will encourage your child to have friendships and to keep them you will find it will be taken out of your hands. From around the age of 7 years old is when kids start to really make true friends and others may swap here and there along the way! It is perfectly normal and trying to force your child to be friends with a nipper who has had numerous visits to your house but the friendship seems to have sailed away will be a fruitless exercise.
  • Forcing your child is not the answer- Kids don’t want to hear that they are to play with this kid or someone else in the same way adults like to find their own friends and either get along or don’t. You may get along well with your child’s friends mother and are wondering how to explain that your nipper doesn’t want to have their old friend around anymore but be honest and who knows maybe they will reconnect in the future.  
  • Don’t distrust your child- Trust that your kiddie is a good person, is kind and is polite to others and allow them to make their own way in life and if that means numerous friends or not so many so be it. Is your child’s teacher happy with your child’s socialising and is there any question of your kiddie being mean or rude to others? If not why not let your child find friends and decide who they want to keep.
Be honest how many of us kept all of our friends all throughout school and into adult hood? Very few I bet! 
Written by Emma, Irish mummy blogger and staff writer at www.familyfriendlyhq.ie 

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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