January 21, 2022
Friends like flowers.
As infants grow into toddlers, we might introduce new flowers; nannies and friends from nanny shares, friends and carers from home day cares, or even extended family members and family friends. The child’s initial little vase of friendships expands to accommodate these new relationships.
The ability to adjust the vases that hold our relationships is a valuable life skill. As we move through the seasons of our lives, we make space for changes in our interpersonal relationships. Like flowers, friends become more or less prominent in our daily arrangements. Some will bloom brightly with delightful fragrances, while others may wilt, or move out of our vases altogether. Certain seasons may be growing seasons, while others are for maintenance. All types of seasons are necessary for providing balance in our lives. We can help children to accept and move graciously through each period by explaining their value and preparing them for the experiences associated with each transition.
One way to help educate this topic to your treasure is by arranging flowers with one another. Go outside and pick some flowers, or choose a small bouquet from your local farmer’s market. Once home, put out a large vase (with more than enough room for the flowers you have). Clean and prepare the flowers together while you discuss the differences between them and how each one adds its own beauty to the group. As you add the flowers to the vase, point out how pretty they look together, but also that there is room for more. Explain to your child that we can think of friends like flowers – everyone is different, and everyone is beautiful in their own way. When we picked out the flowers, we were happy with how many we had in our hands and how nice they looked together. When we brought them home and added them to the vase, we realized there’s space for more! How nice would it be to add a few more flowers to our bouquet?
Practices like this one help children remember that change can be scary, but it can also be beautiful. In the first days of school, be sure to ask your child about the new friends they’ve met. You could even add new flowers to your arrangement.