Anastasia Galavas, of Bridgehampton, NY, loves listening in as her kids play, but one conversation between her 6-year-old, Jeorgiana, and her daughter’s friend surprised her. “When the friend said she didn’t like going to her dad’s house because she wanted to stay close to her mom and toys, Jeorgiana came up with ways to help her solve the problem,” says Galavas.
You might be surprised by how supportive a 6-year-old can be, but researchers know that little kids are as capable of deep friendships as their parents. In fact, having a few close friends may be even more important for your child in the long run than being popular. That’s because good buddies give your child the chance to connect intensely with like-minded people, which helps him form a framework for healthy relationships later. While there’s no single lesson you can instill to make sure your child grows up to be a good BF, there’s plenty you can do to help him along the way at every age.