Yesterday I watched my two neighbor girls, age 6 and 8. Their mom, a good friend of mine, is a teacher and had an in-service day and so had to find child-care for the day. I was more then happy to oblige for a number of reasons. The girls get a long very well with my two boys so although I was ‘babysitting’ them, in a sense they made my day very easy as the four kids played *all day*. There was THAT much less whining going on and that much more self-sufficiency.
A second reason I didn’t mind watching the girls was they are a good influence. I don’t ‘appreciate’ all of *E*’s friends quite as much. There are even friends that HAVE to stay outside, we don’t come in to play. There is a little more rough-housing with them, a lot more messes, a touch more feelings-getting-hurt, and way too much whining. There were still messes yesterday and I’m sure a time or two when *E* got upset because things weren’t going his way; but nothing too out of the ordinary that wasn’t a learning experience in one way or another.
We all need friends, my 3- and 5-year old included. They smile more, laugh more, run harder, rely on me less. Help your children find friendships that are healthy: through church, in the neighborhood, from school. Friendships that help them grow, not bring them down. Invite those friends over to play and watch your children blossom!