Parents worry about many things when their child first starts school. Will she adjust to the long day? Can he remember where the toilets are? Have I given her enough to eat? But one concern often looms even larger than all of those: Will he or she make friends?

Article by Kylie Ladd, featured on

Lyn Worsley was interviewed for this article

“I was terribly nervous when my son David began Prep,” recalls his mother, Rebecca*. “He had attended a different kinder to most of the others in his class, and only knew one other person on his first day. Every parent worries that their child is going to be left out, the misfit, and I swear I spent most of first term anxiously quizzing him about whom he’d played with at lunchtime or covertly watching to see if party invitations had gone out and he hadn’t been invited.”

Friendships benefit children in many ways. As well as providing opportunities for companionship and intimacy, these relationships foster independence, help children learn appropriate social behaviours and bolster their self-esteem. As E.B. White wrote of Wilbur the pig in his much loved children’s novel, Charlotte’s Web, “Sometimes at night Wilbur would have a bad dream… But in the daytime Wilbur felt happy and confident. No pig ever had truer friends, and he realised that friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world.”

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