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Making the case for regular friendships

My son has an ever-rotating list of people whom he calls his best friend. One week it is a certain child in his class, the next week it is the kid who waits at the bus stop with him and then the week after that it will be someone in his scouts pack. For the most part, I am fine with this: As long as he is nice to everyone that is enough basis for a friendship for a seven-year-old.

Friendships have plenty of time to get more complicated as we get older. In fact, friendships mean so much to our lives that the lack of them could seriously affect our health. In this great first-person article, the author confronts the fact that parenthood has taken away all his time for friendships and he has had to figure out a way to get them back.

I think the story on that link is incredibly common - most parents (including me) seem to disappear from their friends' lives as they figure out the parenting thing. Then as the children get older, we have to figure out if we are going to find friends again or continue on as though our children are our friends. (Hint: you should find your own friends.)

The trouble with this is making the time to do it, but evidently, it can be done. One secret (especially for men) is to have a shared activity.

So, the question becomes: What do you and your friends do to make time for each other? Tell me your secret formula in the comments.

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