Catholic Activity: Choosing Playmates
Pay close attention to those children whom your child spends time with, and begin to teach your child the qualities necessary for a good friendship.
The child who is well adjusted in home relationships will rarely have difficulty in playing with children of his own age. It is important for a child to be able to take his place in his small social world. It is good to have your child well liked and happy with, his fellows. If he is encouraged to be fair and kind and honest, he will be accepted as a playmate. On the other hand, if he quarrels easily, cheats and tells lies habitually, he will be rebuffed by other children. The gifted child will need congenial companions. If you have a child who is advanced for his age, seek for him children and occupations that will fill his intellectual needs.
By the time your child is five, you realize that he is leaving babyhood and is reaching into adulthood. He will carry with him through life the social attitudes formed at this time.
Your child's character is forming now. He is not in school, but he is learning every minute of the day. You will be well repaid if you supervise his play. Do not hover over him, but see to it that you pass the sandbox or the play yard once in a while. Put in a word where one is needed. Offer a smile or two when a glance comes your way. Watch for a chance to point out the relationship between the child's religion stories and his play. Show him how to integrate Christian principles of kindness, cheerfulness, and fairness in his associations with his playmates, whatever may be their color, race or creed. These years at home are a preparation, not only for the immediate challenge of school, but also for the ultimate challenge of the world of maturity. Widen that world by teaching your child that he is part of the Mystical Body. You will be surprised at how easily your child will grasp this truth.
Activity Source: From Stroller to School, Parent-Educator Series 2, Leaflets 13-24, Three to Six Years by Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1962