Best Friends No More?

What is it that you remember most about kindergarten? I don’t know about you, but in addition to my kindergarten teacher, what I remember most about that splendidly innocent and tender age, is the other little girl I met there. The very same little girl who’s now a grown up that has turned out to be my dearest and “best-est” friend.

I am the type that cherishes the best friend concept – my life is much richer for having her on my side. So, I was caught off guard when I read this End of Friendship article.

“Increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents: Should a child really have a best friend…”

From friendship coaching that helps kids develop multiple and diverse friendships to management and prevention of bullying to the forced separation of good friends so that they learn to get to know other children (or help the teachers have a more quite classroom) I find this “intervention” not only intrusive but manipulative.

On the other hand, in this era of “virtuality”and social media, does this idea have merit?

Come on, Facebook is great but let’s not go overboard with some of the artificial, public and nominal F/B “friendships” with people you would not recognize on the street.

Yes, having a chance to explore other options and different personalities in the world is great and enriching. However, should the fear of disappointment or potential heartbreak prevent anyone – including a small child – from pursuing a friendship? And how does one learn the art of living?

Life is a luscious, exquisite, sumptuous adventure. The best friend – your first ever best friend and the wonderful navigation, negotiation and exploration that you will probably go through as a child pursuing such a friendship will shape and follow you through life. If you are lucky, you will cherish and have this in your heart forever. It will be one of the first lessons in the core curriculum of relationship building.

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