According to an Irish Proverb, “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have”. Young children are just beginning the friend building process. As the new school year begins, our Cloverbuds are going through many changes.
One big change is that they are interacting with new friends. This age of development includes a time when the youth have many different “best friends” at one time. If there is a disagreement between children, most of the time it is short-lived.
Learning how to interact with others is an important life skill that can be taught and instilled in our Cloverbuds. It is important that we make sure they have this opportunity.
Have a conversation about what characteristics Cloverbuds have that will make a good friend. Why are these characteristics important? Some characteristics include honesty, sharing, taking turns, empathy, being a good listener, having trust, etc.
Cloverbuds can follow the 4-H pledge when making friends. As a volunteer and parent, encourage youth to be a good friend to others.
- Head: using your head to make good safe choices and being a friend to others; speak up about bullying
- Heart: be a caring Cloverbud to others, see what needs to be done and help others
- Hands: through service and helping others you will be a good friend
- Health: being with friends is good for mental health; laughing releases stress even for Cloverbuds
Youth look to adults as a positive role model, including how to interact with friends. Children will model friendship behavior such as reaching out to friends to see how they are, being supportive, and investing time and energy into your friendships. When they see that you value friends, they are more likely to do the same. Building friendships takes time, energy, and effort. Through experiences in 4-H and the Cloverbud program, friendships will blossom.