A Personal Story About Friendships Across Ages
Hi there blog-reader!
Today I want to share a personal story with you. To me, it is a beautiful story about the first steps into social life for a very young child- my grandson Eik, who is 1 year + 7 months old. As I will share with you in a bit, he had an exhilarating and loving afternoon play date with a 6 year old girl.Of course, many children have siblings, and are used to be with children of different ages. But how many children have friends of different ages? In many Kindergartens and Day Care Centers, children are mostly socially placed in groups with children of the same age as themselves. However, children benefit greatly from being with children who are younger or older of age. Something else happens. To me, it is clear that more attentive care and social consideration gets the opportunity to flourish. Sometimes in surprising ways! And now to my little story:
Eik’s First Real Play Date
A few days ago, I had the fantastic opportunity to see my grandson having his first personal invited friend over. His friend is a warm and loving girl at the age of 6. They both attend the same kindergarten, and they both live in apartments that share the same yard; it is a big, green yard with lawns and big and smaller trees – and a consistent social life; here, many children meet and play every day. There are many children of different ages, and they often play across both gender and age, sometimes two and two, but also in smaller groups. I sense a fantastic care and engagement from all the adults towards the children, and between them as parents.
Now, back to the encounter for the 2 very different children
: The girl was very excited to visit Eik, and she was curious about the flat. Eik was so thrilled to have her there. He wanted to show her everything, and often he just had to hug her; something he does very rarely. Eik was constantly just one big smile.He went and got some watermelon to share with her, and when she sat down on the floor, he immediately went and sat on her lab. Then, se started reading books for him, and they both enjoyed just being together.
I, my daughter and my son in law were watching this encounter with big inner gratefulness and happy, quiet smiles.This was an important meeting with the greater world for both of them and for young Eik in particular. It was clear, that to Eik the world is a good and safe place. Experiences like this may seem minor to us grown ups, but this was a first for him, and it was an important step into the social interactive life for him. Experiences like this encourage the will and the wish to participate even more in life, to be a part of the social life.
Watching Eik being a loving host, showing the much older girl around the house, and just jumping out of his skin in his wish to show her true hospitality, was a very touching moment for me as well as the parents. Why? Because little children imitate what they see, feel and experience so promptly. It matters how mom and dad speak to each other, as well as to and about other people; it matters how they welcome people in their homes, and how they relate to other people. All of this goes so deep into our children, and they will imitate this in their own encounters with their friends. Young Eik is met with so much care, and has no reason not to feel loved or understood, and thus he is not skeptical or uncertain of himself.
I felt so humbled watching those two little human beings in their non-prejudicial exploration of new social experiences. Life is all about being able to meet and welcome the world, and wish each other all the best.
Now to you:
– Does your young child have the opportunity to form connections with children of different ages?
– Do you have an older child, and how does he/she react when interacting with smaller children?
– Or do you have a story or a question you would like to share/ask- then please visit our blog and add a comment
Feel free to go to the comment section below
Helle- and Anna on the side.