Friendships are one of the most important things there are. But it’s not really until now your kid will actually make friends. It takes time to get all the skills you need to be a friend.
A long way to go
The process looks something like this: Between the age of 18 and 24 months kids mostly ignore others. But by two and half years, that will shift to paying a lot of attention to others. It’s not so much the persons they are noticing, it’s what they’re playing with. Grabbing and protecting; that’s what it’s all about at this age.
But, at about the age of three years, the grabbing and protecting can be interrupted by someone trying to persuade another child, who wants to grab a toy, that that might not be the best way of doing things. And that is the first step towards interaction and playing together. They take the step from parallel play to cooperative play. All because at around this time their communicative skills have improved.
Even though a three year-old is still rather immature when it comes to social relationships, they tend to be extremely enthusiastic about other children. Now “we”, “friend” and, “me too” make their entry into the vocabulary.
Three years is the turning point
And from this stage interaction and communication just evolves; they practice taking turns, the conversation is sociable and friendly and revolves around the carrying out of real or imaginary play.
Research has shown, and this is really interesting, that from when they are about three years old, children pay more attention, and talk more, to other children than they do to the grown-ups at day care.
But will they make a best friend? That can take some time. Making friends starts with practice and being around others. We all have to learn how to share and to be considerate.
Sooner or later, most children find friends who they click with. For some kids it takes time to make friends. That’s life, we’re different. We look for different things in our friendships. Some seek out friends that they just feel comfortable with and some gravitate towards friends that share their interests like the monkey bars or cars. The interest can change, and so can their best friend. Just like yours.