Best Friends Forever
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In addition, no matter how young your child may be, he needs to have the opportunity to try out relationships and make his own mistakes. This is true now and will be for the rest of his life. Being able to try out intense relationships at a young age, when the stakes are very low, is one of the ways that a child learns to judge people in order to determine whether they will be good long-term friends or partners.
As the adult, you will recognize that the friendship may not last forever. It may even be obvious to you right from the start. Of course, you can and should counsel your child gently about your concerns. However, it is inevitable that your child or teen will eventually make a friendship mistake (amongst all those other mistakes!), and it is critical for her to feel that she has a safe place to land, regardless of whether she has taken your advice.
She will need you to be there to pick up the pieces when she feels betrayed and lonely, and you will need to do so without judgment or an ‘I told you so.’ When you offer your child this kind of support, it leaves room for her to take small risks and continue learning from them—so that by the time she is an adult, her BFF really will be forever…and it might even be you!