There is nothing more heart filling for me than when the opportunity comes to connect a child or tween who is struggling with finding friends, with just those exactly-right potential friends. To see the amazement on his or her face, and the “Oh my gosh! You like ______ too?” I thought I was the only one!”
Yes, a large percent of my focus is helping kids with the application of social skills they have been taught and teaching them different ways of interacting when something isn’t working as it should despite the best of intentions.
More so, I see the Peter Pan Center as a place to allow kids to connect with other like-minded or same-hobby kids. To find a friend that will talk about Pokemon as much as you do, be into drawing cats as much as you are, or knows the ins-and-outs of the same games.
As parents, I think there is always the big wish that our child will connect with other kids at school, or wanting to help them fit in. My goal is not to child a child’s unique and awesome self. Yes, I want to help make his or her school day easier with the skills he or she needs to have fun at recess, blend in when society expects that of him or her, and to give him or her strategies to be bully-proof. But I also want to be that place where he or she might find that true friend.
Here is the litmus test of a real friend that Nadine and I use in our books and presentations for kids: