Everyone needs friends, and we all want to feel connected and valued by others. Some of us may have a few close friends, while others have a wide range of friendships. Among children,
peer relationships can be a challenge. Some children may worry about being part of a certain group or have a hard time fitting in.
In addition to nurturing imagination and discovery, books can help children address struggles they may be experiencing in their lives - especially friendship issues. (I’m planning a separate post with suggested titles, but feel free to email me if you have specific questions.)
The following discussion prompt can be used to introduce books with friendship elements and to build insight about the meaning of friendship.
Brainstorm the term “friendship” by having children list the qualities they look for in a friend. Discuss what qualities are most important and why. Elaborate on the concept of “best friend” by discussing how a best friend differs from a regular friend or an acquaintance. Inquire about the benefits of having friends who are different from you. Can friendship change over time? Can you be mad at or jealous of a friend?
Share the following quote by Henry David Thoreau: “The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” Discuss what the quotation implies about the nature of friendship.