Where did January go? Anyone else still writing 2018 on all those school reply slips? And there’s another school holiday right around the corner and of course Valentine’s Day. Gone are my days of mystery admirers, so if I’m honest the 14th Feb is just another day, but those ‘Hallmark’ marketeers won’t let us forget that we’re supposed to show how much our nearest & dearest mean to us by spending money. But, let’s be honest there’s more to love than cards, chocolates, and gifts so my blog this month is about the stuff that underpins love in all its forms – Friendship & Loyalty.
Friendship & loyalty! Two qualities that are important to learn in childhood and carry into adulthood are also what our children learn through sport! It sounds obvious, but research shows that kids who experience close friendships are healthier, do better in school, develop the resilience necessary to overcome negative peer pressure (& bullying) and experience less anxiety when trying new things… friendship is a win for kids… Not to mention that having good friends will always help support us through all aspects of life. As parents, of course we adore our kids, but there is something to be said for kids connecting with their peers that we can’t replace.
Getting kids involved in sport offers a network of friendship for kids, even before they start school, and even children as young as two and a half (the earliest we accept kids in our 1st Innings sessions!) can reap the benefits of experiencing friendship with other kids their age. Little Wickets is about getting the kids involved and having fun. This is also one of the core tenets of friendship between kids and our sessions naturally support kids developing genuine bonds within their own age group.
The ability to form healthy Friendship bonds is a life skill. Many of the aspects that make up being a “good friend” also have applications in sport and wider life. Healthy friendship sows the seeds for positive self-esteem in kids, and teaches them about their own special qualities & abilities and how to recognise the unique gifts of others… Plus, (and this brings me onto the second part of my theme) friendship can also introduce the idea of loyalty to kids.
Loyalty is important in many ways, and is often seen as a combination of trustworthiness & dependability. Loyalty is also an important aspect of being part of a sports team. Loyalty engenders trust and understanding, even in the face of mistakes. When kids are learning a new skill, they might make a ton of mistakes, so being able to be understanding and forgiving in the face of this can really helpful for them, both for themselves and for others.
Learning about Friendship & loyalty helps children. And anything we can do to support children’s healthy growth is a good thing in my book!
If you find the subject of friendship & loyalty interesting and want to share your thoughts, you can email info@littlewickets or send Little Wickets a message on social media (handle is @LittleWickets on everything!).
Until next month,