As the VIs grow, one of the most relevant socially-related developments is navigating friendships. When children first come to C&C, their way of making friends is mainly try to find common interests with each other. But this has blossomed into more in-depth relationships between the VIs. When they spend time with their peers during school and without the interference of adults, their decision-making skills grow and their imaginations run wild. This year, the VIs have made new friendships, while also maintaining their past ones. Along the way, they have come across a few bumps.
The VIs love having a classroom full of friends because they have the opportunity to problem-solve together, work together on projects, and bond over similar hobbies.
“It’s nice having friends because we can go places together and make things and have fun with everyone,” said Maya Sharma, VIsT.
Even though it is enjoyable to have friends, there are few ups and downs when it comes to compromising. As the VIs interact with each other, they begin to learn how to deal disagreements about what to build during Block Yard or what games to play. When they encounter disputes, they are left to find a way to solve the problem.
When there are disagreements among the VIs, they follow rules they made up to work problems out.
Iyla Patel, VIsE, shared one of her tips, “Sometimes you compromise and sometimes you change the subject. You can take a break from that person.”
“It can be annoying when friends tell on each other but we work it out,” added Dandelion Cohen, VIsT.
In order to decrease the amount of discord throughout the group, certain VIs have stuck to a set of special rules that they must always follow such as: Always listen, trust each other, and be kind.
“Always listen to people and instead of saying ‘give me this,’ you say nice things,” said Serafina Rura-Haug, VIsE.
The VIs also say that one has to keep negative comments in their head because it is not okay to mock fellow peers. Although, if mockery does occur between classmates, there is a simple solution used universally throughout the VIs. Simply apologize. According to the experiences of the VIs, this remedy has worked every time a disagreement has happened between two friends.
Ray Lieberman, VIsE, shared, “When my friends play too rough, we always apologize.”
However, despite a few difficult situations on occasion, the VIs agreed that the best part about having a friend is spending time together and having fun. Throughout the year, the VIs have found activities that all of them enjoy doing. Some of these games include Freeze Tag and Sharks and Minnows. Through play, the VIs strengthen their bonds and grow to learn more about each other.
“Katya [Valazzi] and West [Wald] are my best friends. I put on makeup with West and with Katya we make potions. That’s what we do on playdates,” said Maya.
Although the VIs occasionally run into friendship troubles, they always find a simple way to fix their problems. This skill will be useful to the VIs as they continue to develop their social skills throughout their time at C&C and beyond.