If you were to list, on one hand, the things that bring you happiness, how many of you would list a friend or group of friends?
If I were to look at your social media posts, how many would include pictures of you with friends?
How many of those friends were ones from your childhood?
I think it’s safe to say that friends play a KEY role throughout our lives.
But what percentage of instructional time is devoted to teaching children about friendship OR helping children develop friendship skills?
Would you say 50% of the time? Less than that? More than that?
How many administrators or policy makers think developing friendships is a critical way to spend instructional time?
What if you told them studies have found, that positive interactions with peers, extends attention, supports encoding and retrieval of information, and is KEY to reading and math outcomes?
Would that percentage change???
we must devote considerable instructional time to fostering friendships.
In this post, my FRIEND and colleague, Dr. Lori Meyer (@) and I share five strategies you can use…..anywhere…..anytime…. to foster friendships.
The five strategies are:
- Thumb: Tell and show why helping children form friendships is important
- Index finger: Intentionally teach children friendship skills
- Middle finger: Model being a good friend
- Ring finger: Reinforce friendships between children
- Pinky finger: Promote positive peer-to-peer interactions
This image of the five strategies (see below or click here), is designed to illustrate that they can be incorporated as easily as giving someone a “high five.”
Think of it this way…whenever you are interacting, playing, and/or teaching with your hands, you have the opportunity to foster friendships.
We invite you to take a minute to think about what you can do to foster friendships in your own lives, and the lives of the children you serve.
P.S. Want FREE printables of ALL five strategies? Click here to access, print, and share.
P.S.S. Here are links to two other articles, which contain practical ideas for fostering friendships.