A Guide for Families and Caregivers

Building Block 4

Relationships with Others
Key Message
Positive relationships help children feel good about themselves and build a foundation for future social and emotional well-being.

Positive relationships with others enrich a child’s life. They help children learn how to get along with others, how to compromise, to think about how others feel, and to cooperate. Families, friends, and caregivers are a source of support for helping children to develop positive relationships.

Strong relationships with trusted adults are an important first step in developing positive relationships with others. If a child has a secure, trusting relationship with parents or caregivers, they are likely to be able to connect with others and feel concern for others, especially after age 3. IIf If they do not have secure trusting relationships with the adults in their life, they are more likely to show aggressive behaviour with others, and to experience rejection and disruptive relationships with peers.

When children feel good about themselves, this gives them the secure base they need to reach out to others. This can also work in the opposite direction. Having a friend helps children feel good about themselves and the security of knowing there are other people besides family in their circle of trust. As children grow older, peer relationships increasingly influence their self-esteem and well-being.

Adults can help children feel good about themselves and about making friends.

There are bound to be times when children don’t get along or have misunderstandings, even with close friends.  Although young children can express themselves, they usually need the help of adults to cope with and manage conflicts. Adults can guide children through problem solving when there is a conflict by getting to know the whole story, identifying the problem, discussing the experience of each child involved, brainstorming solutions, and then supporting the chosen solutions.

"When I feel connected to the important adults in my life, I can understand how others feel, solve problems, and get along with my friends and family"
Last Modified: 01-Mar-2020