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Understanding the Meaning of Friendship

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2007-03-06 06:33:06     
Article by Jennifer Burns

Friendship is an important part of social interaction process and child's healthy development. The environment in which children are brought up is critical for the development of their personality and instincts. Friendship influences individual's personality, perceptions and motivations of children, it influences moral and emotional development of children. Experiences whether positive or negative impinge upon the rate of social and psychological development. As the most important, social interactions with peers help children to develop their communication and learning skills. The aim of the paper is to examine and illustrate the role and importance of friendship in childhood, and its impact on social interaction between children.

Friendship is defined as "a dynamic, reciprocal relationship between two individuals. As children become friends, they negotiate boundaries within which both partners function". Cognitive mechanisms for dealing with the world - whether they are face recognition, language acquisition or emotional development - will not appear of their own accord. Just like the development of a child, the process of evolution is intertwined with the growth of culture, and 'culture' began well before evolution finally shaped people.

Children everywhere are socialized by their peer group, not by their parents. At all ages children join various play groups, circles, and they jockey for status within them. Each is a culture that absorbs some customs from the outside and generates many of its own. As children grow up they graduate from group to group and eventually join adult groups. Prestige at one level gives one a leg up at the next; most significantly, the leaders of young adolescent cliques are the first to date. At all ages children are driven to figure out what it takes to succeed among their peers and to give these strategies precedence over others.

Positive social experience and interaction with peers, friendship and comradeship are crucial for child's development and further socialization. Lack of friends and social experience during childhood can result in psychological disorders and psychological traumas. To eliminate negative experience, parents and educators should pay a special attention to social life of a child, his/her group interaction, supportive environment for socialization.

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