In one of the courses I teach called Personal Growth Thru Film, we discussed the 80s award-winning film “The Big Chill.” The film reinforces the message that “It’s a cold world out there, but friends can make it a warmer place.” In this film we see the best that mature friendships provide. They endure time and distance to provide comfort, intimacy, support. These friendships help clarify goals and expectations through selfless giving and sharing.
Children’s relationships don’t begin this way. Friendships in childhood begin as concrete relationships based on pleasurable experiences. As children grow-up, friendships evolve into a more abstract concept, one based upon mutual consideration and psychological satisfaction. In the first stage, friendship, for children seven-years old or younger, is based on physical or geographical considerations and is rather self-centered. There is little or no understanding of the other person’s perspective or personality traits.