Why Do We Hold On to Childhood Friendships?

Why Do We Hold On to Childhood Friendships?

Childhood friendships, hold a unique charm and influence that extend far beyond the playground years. These early bonds are not just about sharing secrets or playing together; they are foundational experiences that shape how women relate to others and see the world as adults.

I'm still friends with childhood best friend. We met when we were ten and we were inseparable. As children we bonded over oreo cookies, sharing secrets, sun hats, dreaming of travel, and our love of cats. We loved each other and we'd argue with each other and we'd make-up- we were a team. Although we don’t talk regularly, or even live in the same country, we have an unbreakable bond. We are always there for each other for the highs and the lows.  

From a young age, girls are often encouraged to be communicative and nurturing, skills that are exercised and honed within the framework of friendship. These relationships provide a safe space where girls learn to express their feelings and thoughts, which is crucial for emotional development. The comfort of having a friend who listens and understands can't be overstated—it teaches empathy and the value of emotional support, qualities that are carried into adulthood.

Moreover, childhood friendships often set the stage for collaboration and teamwork. Whether it’s working together on a school project or resolving a minor dispute over a game, these early experiences teach negotiation and cooperation. These skills are incredibly valuable in adult life, influencing professional interactions and personal relationships alike.

The significance of these friendships also lies in the resilience they build. Every friendship faces its tests—perhaps a misunderstanding or a shared challenge. My worst breakup was with one of my best friends from my teen years. We moved away, went to university had different experiences and just couldn’t find our common ground anymore. It was heart breaking.  I’m sure many of us have had this kind of experienced, and it’s still something I’ve never quite gotten over. Sometimes you just grow apart…

Overcoming these hurdles can teach girls persistence and the importance of maintaining relationships, even when it's difficult. This resilience is a critical asset in adulthood, where challenges become more complex and the stakes are higher.

Additionally, these early friendships can also be a source of lasting joy and comfort. Many women look back on their childhood friendships with fondness, drawing strength from memories of simpler times. For some, these friendships endure, evolving over the years and providing a consistent thread through the tapestry of life’s changes. These lasting bonds underscore the importance of loyalty and mutual support. Two of my friends from university remain in my incircle of friendship – family. Since I met them I moved countries many times

Ultimately, the friendships formed during childhood offer more than just fun memories; they play a significant role in shaping social and emotional intelligence. For women, these early experiences lay the groundwork for building meaningful, supportive relationships throughout their lives, influencing how they lead, learn, and grow.

So, the next time you think back to your childhood friends, your bbf, remember the significant impact they've had on who you've become. These relationships are more than just past playdates; they are foundational to our development and continue to influence us in profound ways. Whether these friendships have lasted or faded, their imprint remains, continuing to shape us in countless, invaluable ways.

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