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Why Friendship, Connection and Safety are Vital To Children's Development

Children have the right to choose their own friends and safely connect with others.

Written by: Early Educational Advisor - Jo Harris  

Having the skill to choose your own friends takes time and is dependent upon a few key factors, including which stage of development children are at.

Between birth and up to two years of age, children are mostly content to interact with trusted adults to have their primary needs met, forming close bonds of trust.

From about two years children may still spend playtime independently discovering their world before they are cognitively aware of the desire to interact with peers.

The curiosity of the wider environment, and observing other children become more interesting before children start to show interest in parallel play, where children can be sharing the same activity alongside one another, but remain largely focused on their own experience.

Much of children's early social experience and exchange with their peers begins roughly around three to four years of age, as they begin to show interest in not only similar activities but the children playing with them also.

Each year a theme is selected that is celebrated nationally each October from one of the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.


Children have the right to choose their friends and safely connect with others; this is a timely reminder of how imperative it is as children navigate their path back to familiarity with their formal schooling and education.

Whichever stage of their education they are currently at, and the next to come, it provides a welcome opportunity for children to fully participate in not only their cognitive learning but also their social and emotional development, through engagement with others.

Every state and territory arranges events and activities that celebrate children, their rights, and achievements throughout early childhood services, schools, local community services, and groups.

There are many free resources and more information is available to assist in planning events to celebrate the joy of childhood and to continue raising awareness about the importance of this for children throughout the world, often found in your local government areas.



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