As a baby grows into a toddler and onwards, childhood influence is an interesting one to watch. I’m sure there are plenty of parents with older children that area despairing or pleased at their childrens’ influencers but at the moment with N, it’s just really interesting to watch his friendships develop and evolve.
N’s now enjoys playing with other children, rather than just playing alongside. Ever since he could talk, he was always talking about one boy L at nursery who was always moving up rooms ahead of him. They’re now in the same room, but now N talks about lots of the other children rather than just the one, both girls and boys, at his day nursery, At nursery school, he’s got a definite best friend – the pair of them are inseparable and look out for each other if they’re both going to a party.
He doesn’t see much of his NCT friends nowadays as I’m back working full time, so I suppose his swimming peers are those I’d expect him to get used to and become friends with quickly. One of the little boys T is really chatty and friendly, although N’s never that chatty…I’m trying to encourage him to respond in a conversation rather than just blankly ignoring anyone talking to him. He usually never shuts up, but is surprisingly quiet in the swimming changing rooms. Until the teacher comes in after the lesson and then he decides he wants to chat to her.
When we catch up with other friends with children on a one to one basis, that’s when he’s in his element. In a home environment, he’ll show and share toys, try and get the friend to play and join in.
N does love being with older children. Largely because he’s probably used to it having been around his 5 year old cousin twice during the working week until August. As well as seeing his other 5 cousins (ranging from 7-13) fairly frequently. It’s great seeing the cousins all together – they’ll break off into groups, or just pile in together (I pity the only girl sometimes, although she doesn’t seem to mind!). N happily follows them wherever they go.
Now his favourite cousin is at school, I’m surprised at how close they still are. I was worried that they might drift a bit as the age difference might have ‘increased’. But they still love playing together, and want to go and see each other.
Hopefully as they grow up, they’ll still be close…I can see them causing trouble together like I’m sure both their dads used to.
Do your children have a best friend? Or do they prefer groups?