Aside from the occasional adult who’ll walk away with my kids’ toys, there is one reason why I some times hate going to the park. I hate having to watch Eva try to make friends with the older kids.
Eva loves to be included in play. She especially loves to play with older children. Sometimes we get lucky and meet an older child that’s willing to hang out with a two-year-old, but most times not so much.
Photo courtesy the author.
The process of making friends is really hard for kids. It’s also hard for adults, but watching your child experience the difficulties of this is even harder. That said, I quickly realized that I couldn’t run away from the park because of this.
I also realized that some of my feelings about this were a result of my own social anxieties and that it is important for me not to put that off on my daughter. So instead of trying to shield her from the older kids, I let her talk to them. If they are not receptive, I encourage her to play with a child her own age, with me, or with her brothers.
So, some days she’ll make a new friend and sometimes she doesn’t and that’s okay. She’s learning an important skill, which is how to make friends. She’s also learning that when the chips are down mommy and her brothers can make really good playmates too.
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