The Role Of Friends And Peers On Social And Emotional Development

1054 words - 5 pages

It’s safe to say everyone wants a life similar to the ones of the characters on the popular television series Friends – close friends living together in the big city, enjoying life and experiencing the many new stages that come along with it. While a lifestyle similar to that is probable in our daily lives, one must realize the crucial effect childhood friendships have on their adult life and to their mind’s social and emotional development. In layman’s terms, without close friendships growing up, it is nearly impossible for an adult to obtain and flourish intimate friendships similar to those found on Friends. It is important for children to have interpersonal relationships with their peers ...view middle of the document...

They’re asking questions like, “What is happening to my voice? Why are the girls taller than me? What is acne?” While it seems a logical option to have a knowledgeable male adult speak to the boys about their changing bodies and help educate them on what is happening, the boys are not likely to feel a sense of relation to the older man. Even though this man has experienced exactly what the boys are going through, the boys are more likely to rely on each other for advice and for support simply because they are going through the same experience at the same time. If a young boy does not have friends to relate to growing up, if he is not able to experience a sense of togetherness with children of his own age, he may look back on his life as an adult and feel cheated of a complete childhood experience.
When children of the same age are around each other, they can intensify and validate emotions through mutual excitement over games, enjoyment over favorite music and television shows, or even the disliking of authority figures. These emotions form a subculture only known to kids of the same age. For example, girls of the Millennial Generation can seem to agree on a shared adoration and admiration of the pop band One Direction. When adolescent girls congregate, they can share excitement over the band’s latest album or over their favorite band member. However, if the girls tried to express those same thoughts, feelings, and emotions to their parents or to an older sibling, their enthusiasm would not be met in the same way as it would to their peers. Being around girls their own age substantiates their emotions, which is crucial for proper development.
The second reason close friendships between children are important is because, unlike the relationship of that between a child and a sibling or a child and parent, friendships are voluntary acts of intimacy and desire to grow closer to another person. A parent could force quality time in order to develop a relationship, but when a child goes to school for the first time, it is up to them to seek out companionships...

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