Sharing stories from your childhood friendships with your Grands can be a lot of fun while teaching great lessons. Children and even young adults have a hard time imagining us as anything but older people. Seeing pictures and hearing stories of our early lives helps them to connect to us in different ways.
I have a picture of each grandmother when they were in their late teens or early twenties that captured them in the midst of big smiles and the adventures of youth. The pictures give me a peek into their lives at times long before I was alive. They help me imagine another dimension of the older ladies I came to love as a child. Since pictures are much more common now we’re likely to have some of our early years and early friendships. Find some from your own life and let’s think through some fun things we could share about childhood friendships.
Who? – Who were our friends? Were we social butterflies or the shy kid? By sharing our own friendship patterns, we might help Grands understand the similarities and differences among family members.
How? – How did we spend time with friends? The advent of technology has dramatically changed this dynamic of friendship from what I see. Often kids of today interact through games and online. That’s very different from my childhood friendship connections at the local swimming pool or roller skating at the schoolyard.
What? – What happens to childhood friendships? It seems very few people maintain friendships from their childhood days, although perhaps this is changing with technical connectivity. Mobility plays a huge role in changing friendships. In my day, relocation, whether across town or across the country, was a factor in losing touch. Now, I watch my Grands keep in touch via tablets and chat capabilities (supervised by parents). Sharing some of these differences between generations might inspire Grands to be more active in keeping up with special friends as they grow.
Why? – Why are childhood friendships so important? When we pause and think about the lessons learned through our early friendships, it’s amazing to realize how much influence those relationships had on our development. Analyzing our own growth and maturation process as a human being is a worthy endeavor. As it relates to friendship, considering what we’ve done well and the mistakes we’ve made, helps us go into new relationships with more purpose and understanding of what our responsibilities are in relationships.
Spend some revisiting your grade school through high school years and picking out some special stories to share with your Grands. If you have pictures to connect to the stories, now’s the time to get them out and add an image to the tale. I’d strongly suggest finding pictures of funny or especially happy times with friends. Your Grands will love seeing you young and full of life and energy! Let your Grands see you through the lens of being someone just like them who was once young and learning how to be a good friend.
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