Have you ever thought how is it like having a lifelong friend? What your life would have been without them? Someone whom you have known most of your life. I am blessed to have two of those.
One of them I met in a unique way. We both post graduated from the same college but we got to know each other only in the end days of the college. I had a likeability for her and she used to think I am a bit over board, sugarcoated and pricey all the time. We landed up in the same company after our placement and shared an apartment later. It all started then.
The other one I met in middle school and we had been close ever since. We were together for 3 years in the same school until she moved to a bigger city and joined a bigger school. We used to exchange letters that bonded us like never before. In my husband’s words they are my ”Changu and Mangu.”
We have aided each other through the many “crazies” of our lives. They have been my second home I run to when I badly need a sense of security and familiarity. They have always made me feel that I belong . They fill me up, they bring me joy and they feed my soul. They have always been forgiving and have never disowned me even when I failed to live up to their expectations. Now that I have twins, I disappoint them more often than not. It’s a friendship in a “judgment free zone”
Every single friendship I have had so far has enriched my life in some way. But as life happened, I lost touch with many of those folks. Thanks to the digital age we are united again. I have always longed for my children to have lifelong friends the way I have had. God has been really kind that he blessed me with twins. They share a unique bond. Built in buddies if you will. When they are together (they always are) they don’t need anyone else. It’s not easy for any other kid to join the duo’s gang. But my wish for them is that they make their own set of friends as they grow up. Technically, my girls are “clones” but they are certainly different personalities. I deeply desire that they individually foster friendship that stands the test of the time.
As a parent today I feel it is important to nurture childhood friendships for our kids. It has a positive influence on their mental and physical health. It develops social skills and strengths the sense of belonging. Teaching kids to model good friendship skills will help them feel valued and welcomed among their peers. They learn better once they feel comfortable and important. Attributes such as social competence, self-esteem, self-confidence and altruism is positively correlated to having friends.
As parents we can handhold our children and help them to manage their friendships. Every child is different. For some children these skills come naturally. For such children is it easy to open up to new people. However there are others for whom meeting new people and showing friendly gestures might be a harder area to navigate. So it is very important to help your kids to develop positive social skills from an early age. Importance of sharing, taking other peoples feeling in to account and listening are crucial aspects to be focused.
It’s our responsibility to expose kids to this beautiful world of friendship. Once they grow up they would always cherish their first childhood friend. The one they were excited to see first thing inside the school gates. The one with they had adventure, fun, and laughter in the college. The one who will be a witness to all their crazy times and milestone in life — their secret confidants. The world of friendship is the most soothing place. Let our kids be a part of this.