I graduated high school in the 80's. It wasn't what I would call an "innocent" time, but making friends was easy enough for most people.
If you searched hard enough, you would eventually find someone you could connect with, regardless of your personality and interests. Kids just seemed more willing to meet someone halfway who was reaching out to them, more willing to see in others something of themselves.
Today, making friends is completely different. Children are completely different. They aren't born that way, they are shaped that way from infancy by their parents. Sadly, they are being trained from the very beginning to be the best, to have the best, to look the best, and to search out only those people who fit that mold as well, and it is creating a society of school children, both younger and older ones, who more than ever believe they are better than most and they will only associate with others who are the same. So where does that leave the "average" child?
The child who is kind and accepts anyone else who is kind, regardless of what their parents do for a living, or what their grades are, or whom their parents are friends with? It leaves them out in the cold, searching for a friend who will be there for them, and not just when there is no one else. Not all children can find that kind of friend anymore. They are few and far between.
If there is a better offer, such as a spot in the popular crowd opening up, many people will turn on a friend to join this crowd. Yes I know this is not a new concept, but believe me it is more widespread than ever. And it is a reality, it is not just something we see in the movies. So what can we do to help our children? First and foremost we MUST raise our children well, and by well I mean with love as the central theme. Not love of power, and position, just love. It's an old but tried and true belief; LOVE THY NEIGHBOR. That means showing our children from the very beginning that if they are kind to all of the people they come across during the course of their day their lives will be infinitely better, infinitely happier.
Don't we want our children happy? Isn't that honestly the most important thing? Of course it is. And although many people think that by being what they consider to be "the best", and associating with people who feel the same that they are creating happy children, this is not the case. In fact, the constant struggle to keep this way of thinking alive and all of the effort it entails is not only exhausting any kindness that perhaps was once second nature, but is also creating a sort of heirarchy in classrooms, even the youngest classrooms, and once this is established it has the propensity to remain in tact as the school years go on.
We as parents need to lead by example. If you are one of those parents at school who enjoys friendships with other parents be sure to include as many parents as possible, from all different groups! It will enrich your life as well as show your children that every person has something worthwhile inside, something to bring to the friendship circle. And you never know, your child could benefit greatly from friendships with children other than those you believe to be "good enough" for them.