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making friends

We Should All Have a Place to Call the Friendship Circle

There’s a seating circle around a tree at my son’s school called the “Friendship Circle.” I asked him what it was and he said, “if kids don’t want to play during recess, they could just sit around the friendship circle with their friends. And if they don’t have a friend, they could still sit there and someone will come and be their friend.”

There was no such thing as a friendship circle when I was at school. In fact, I don’t remember any teacher or staff member at school caring that much about what their students did at recess time. The only thing in my memory were kids being mean to other kids or kids trying to win popularity contests.

I absolutely love my son’s school. Having something as amazing as the Friendship Circle is only one of the many things that make my son’s school so great. Kids are taught to respect and care about each other. Bullying? It’s definitely NOT tolerated (or most bad behavior for that matter).

Is it more difficult to have friends as a kid or as a grown up?

I used to think kids were so hard on each other and friendships weren’t that easy to have at school. Then real life happened and I realized it’s even more difficult to be a grown up and have real friends. In fact, I think mom friends are the most difficult friend types to have. But with all this talk about mom shaming and mom groups, why would you even want to bother?

friends

When my son was a toddler, I used to take him to the park almost every day to help him get rid of some of that crazy energy he had. During the day, the park was full of babies and toddlers and their nannies. And one of the most obvious things I noticed with the nannies was that they all gathered in groups. Much like how it was in high school!

As full as the park was with nannies and as many times as I’ve tried to smile at a few of them, not one person tried to talk or even smile at me. No joke!

Of course it wasn’t just the nannies that weren’t bothered about making any sort of contact, moms were very much the same at the playground. So I gave up on the park, but things did change a little when my son went to preschool. And now he’s about to finish first grade and I’ve gathered a few more mom friends along the way.

One of my really good mom friends once said to me, “we should all be supportive of one another.” True, but sadly the world isn’t full of moms like her. Many moms go through tough days. Some days are worst than others, but at the end of those bad days, sharing stories with a mom friend can feel somewhat relaxing and more of a stress release.

Does FOMO make people feel like they’re inadequate human beings?

Social media is filled with posts about friendships and doing all these fun things with friends. In fact, I see lots of well dressed people that look like models, going to fancy places, and pretending to have cake and sweets together. But what about the other moms who grow with envy as they look at those pictures and struggle with their own case of FOMO? How do you think it makes them feel?

We see quotes all over social media and the internet about people being kind and caring towards one another. Posts that become viral are sometimes ones that involve nice things. And although we tend say, “Aww …” or “Like” these nice posts it still doesn’t seem to be enough to encourage actual acts of “kindness” and friendships.

I hope to see more Friendship Circles like the one at my son’s school. Don’t you agree? For some adults, it’s like trying to teach old dogs new tricks, but for our young ones, it’s a great way to give them a positive start.

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.

10 comments

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  • I like the idea as well. Not all kids want to be running around playing ball or tag. Some are more insular so it’s a great idea that allows youngsters to connect in a variety of ways.

  • I agree that we as women whether we are moms or not need to be supportive of one another always. I hate that so many moms are judged by other moms, it’s not right. I don’t have many friends as an adult as I did when I was younger but the few I do have are loyal and true and that is all that matters. I love the idea of a friendship circle!

  • I absolutely love the idea behind the friendship circle. In my son’s school, they have buddy benches, and children now that if someone sits there, it’s because they’re feeling lonely and they’re encouraged to go and speak to other children feeling that way. Hopefully as they grow up, they’ll learn to recognise the signs someone is not feeling too happy and needs a friendly ear.

  • I definitely like the idea of a friendship circle. A place to go where you can find and make friends. Although I think the internet kind of fashions like that now. Although it would be nicer if we got to know different people as well. Not just those with our same interests.

  • I am very happy for your son. this must be placed in all educational systems. there are different means of addressing it in every phase of life

  • Children make friends much easier because they are more outgoing. They just smile at each other, take each others hands and start playing. Try doing that as an adult and you’ll be seen as a weirdo. Making friends as a grown up is not impossible though. It’s just requires other approaches.

  • As a mom to young kids and a military spouse who moves frequently, I’ve known so many isolated parents! I feel like everyone would love a sort of Friendship Circle. My child would be overjoyed if they did something like that at his school!

  • I am so happy for your son! Like you, even we didn’t have any friendship circle at our school. I think we should have them at schools, colleges and also in some public places because we get more lonely as we grow up, right?