International Day of Friendship
We all love our friends, right? You might have a particular one you are close to - your bestie, your B.F.F. (‘best friend forever’)...or as the kids say, your BF4evs! For those with young children, your little one undoubtedly becomes your mini-bestie!
So, did you know that there is a whole day dedicated to celebrating our pals?
International Day of Friendship is celebrated worldwide on 30th July. It is a day to appreciate and encourage friendships across all cultures.
The awareness day endeavours to break down barriers between factors such as background, race and language. The notion is that by promoting friendships between people across the globe, we can inspire harmony, peace and try to right wrongs of the past between communities.
Empathy, compassion and concern for others are generally the driving forces behind having successful friendships. By celebrating and fostering positive relationships, these characteristics become even more valued. Furthermore, in doing so, health psychologists believe that individuals adopt a more gracious and less selfish outlook on life.
As we all know, the world recently suffered and struggled through a pandemic. Travel, contact and fluidity between countries and cultures were lacking for several years due to restrictions. So, for this International Day of Friendship, the focus is on building a more united, peaceful and kind world - more than ever before. Celebrating international friendships will help strengthen and build relationships across different cultures. The awareness day hopes for nothing other than positive implications that are wide and far-reaching.
So how can we celebrate the International Day of Friendship in our everyday lives? Here at Naturally Sheepskins, we have thought of a few ideas:
- Call up a friend and have a good old natter
- Skype, video call or zoom with a friend who lives abroad
- Think of someone who you have not spoken to in a while and reach out to them
- If you get a minute of calm, (when the kids are in bed maybe), think about the factors that unite people rather than those that separate them
- Organise a meet up with a friend or try to get a group of you together to celebrate the day/evening
- Post a photo on social media of you and a friend and hashtag in International Day of Friendship
How can you get your children involved in International Day of Friendship? Most children will probably be on school holidays – so why not have fun with one of the following activities:
- Design and create a friendship bracelet – made from anything from decorated cardboard to string and beads
- Ask your little one to think about their bestie - write a list of all the things you love about them and share it with them
- Make an International Day of Friendship poster
- Using the word 'Friendship' - write an acrostic poem about what makes a good friend
- For younger children - draw a friend, paint a picture of your friend or make your friend out of ‘play-doh’
- Look through photos with your little of them playing with their friend/friends and talk about them
As a parent, now might be a good time too to talk to your older child or children about their friendships. Towards the end of the summer term, some of their friendships might have become challenged or they might feel sad about leaving old friends behind to embark on new chapters.
Spend some time exploring why people have crossed-words or fall out with each other, why others can be mean and how important effective communication is to recover from these things. By discussing the emotional aspects of friendship (the good and bad), children learn to build resilience when faced with challenges in these relationships.
One thing is for sure...International Day of Friendship needs to be taken note of. Let's face it, friendships make the world go round.