To be honest, I am not even sure what to say about this...my mind is screaming about a hundred different things all at once.
While listening to public radio today, I heard a discussion about best friends. Apparently, there was an article in the New York Times last week that stated many schools and child "experts" have decided that best friends amongst kids are a bad thing. There are schools and camps who do things to purposely dissuade and undermine such friendships.
Here's a link to the article, "The End of the Best Friend." Go read it and come back.
Are you reeling?
Before I go farther let me say, we homeschool our kids. So, yes, I am probably a bit out of touch in terms of the whole bullying problem in schools I so often hear discussed. I mean really, our big bully here at our school is probably our two year old. She is pretty tough. However, even if I am a bit out of touch with the school scene, this just seems wrong on so many levels.
I think best friends, or at the very least, a small group of very close friends is essential to kids as they grow up. If everyone is friends with everyone else, where will kids learn how to be in close relationships with others? Where will they learn how to give and take or how to share in another's grief or happiness or how to to put someone else's needs above your own in the really tough times? I could go on and on...
Yes, these are all relational skills the Big Guy and I want our children to learn at home first and foremost. We want our kids to learn how to be in healthy, loving, Godly relationships with each other so that they'll be ready to have such friendships outside of our immediate family. Truth be told, being friends with siblings wasn't one of the reasons we started homeschooling, but it is certainly one of the greatest benefits we've seen from homeschooling. But they've got to learn to find and grow such friendships outside of their family as well!
How desolate my past would seem had I been discouraged in seeking out special "best" friendships with others! In fact, had I been so discourage, how desolate would my present and future would seem as well.
I'm rambling a bit...I'd love hear other's thoughts on this...