cousins playing

Childhood influence – forever friends?

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.

toddlers playing with a boat

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.

cousins playing

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?

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  1. I have 3 sons, which are all so very far apart in age. (7, 16, 23). I’ve always been able to have them bond with each other. But, in reality, they are in different stages. When my sons were younger, I’d have play dates set up. I still do with my youngest. But, cousins are their favorites! What a lovely post!

    1. Thanks. It is nice to have family nearby, especially if you’ve big age gaps. Two of the cousins have a 7 year gap, so it’s good their other cousins are nearby so they’ve got family nearer their age to play with.

      My cousins were almost 3 hours drive away, so although we got on, it was very much by snail mail/pen pals

  2. We homeschool, so while my kids have some dear friends, their best friends are each other. They’re super close in age. I love it. Found you via SITS!!

    1. So nice when siblings are best friends. I think because my OH’s family all live within 2 miles of us, the cousins tends to have their best friends amongst the family. 2-3 of the older boys are probably best friends, and N and the youngest cousin are best friends. I’m hoping this continues as it’s lovely to see how well they get on despite being 2 school years apart in age.

  3. My boys are teens now, but when they were little they played differently. My oldest could amuse himself and would play with everyone. He is just a really easy-going kid. My youngest is much more guarded and invests heavily in his relationships, so he tends to take a while to make friends, because he wants to hang out with quality people. As they get older, I can see the difference in how they go about choosing friends and playing makes in their lives. Stopping by from #SITSBlogging.

    1. It’s interesting to see how differently children can be within a family, especially when they’re both boys. My brother and I were very different in terms of having friends growing up, and now, but a lot of that could be based on activities and hobbies, as well as being boy/girl. But making friends/retaining friends obviously changes as they grow older as well.

      Thanks for popping by

  4. My son plays WITH one other child from daycare (another little boy one month younger than him). but ANY other kids he will play alongside them. He is only 3, so I am hoping that this changes as he gets a little older.

    1. N’s 3 as well. I think he’s just really nice at letting the other children play with things he has and then gives items to them, so they like to play with him.

      There’s such a variety though in the children, as we’ve got a group with similar aged children, and there’s one or two of them that don’t really mix with any of the other children at all. I guess it depends if the child’s always mixed with other people a lot, or if they’re just shy, or whether they prefer to have one best friend, rather than be in a big pool of people. Bonus with a close friend, is you get much more support from them and attention, than those who spread their friendships around.

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