All summer my daughter was nervous for the start of preschool because she was anxious about making new friends. “I already have two friends, Mom,” Lucy told me, “I don’t need any more.” Of course, even as I tried to navigate her through this little crisis in her four-year-old life, I couldn’t help but feel like I also needed a taste of the medicine.
It’s hard, isn’t it, to make friends sometimes? The fears that occupied her thoughts – what if they don’t like me? what if I don’t like them? what if everyone already has a best friend and there’s no room for me? – are shared by women everywhere. We can get caught in a rut, longing for more community, but unsure of how to find it or unsure of ourselves.
This summer my best friend moved across the country and even though we are still very connected and make an effort to be “in” each other’s lives, I miss my best friend. And I wonder, will I make a new one? Little Lucy overheard me sharing some of these thoughts and jumped in to encourage me and repeat back to me all the things we’d been saying to her.
I’m trying to be more intentional about taking her advice and introduce myself to other women I meet, make room in the schedule to be with friends and nurture those relationships, and to make myself more available to other moms in my neighborhood and parish. Lo and behold, Lucy’s words have proven to be as true for this thirty-something working mom as a four-year old starting school.
The Preschooler’s Guide to Making New Friends
by Lucy Swaim
- You have to look for friends first. If you aren’t looking, you won’t see them.
- When you see a new friend, you have to meet them. You walk up to them, hold their hand and say, “Hi, my name is Lucy. What’s your name?”
- Remember their name so you know who you are talking to.
- Ask them if they want to play with you.
- If they run away from you, just chase them around the playground.
- Invite them to your house and share your toys. But you can take turns too, because friends take turns.
- Give them lots of hugs and hold their hand. But not at school because “school is NOT for holding hands.”
- Everyone gets a little nervous to make new friends. But you don’t have to be scared because I bet new friends are kind.
Copyright 2017 Megan Swaim