Peer acceptance is important because having friends is crucial to children's social and emotional development. While peer acceptance is desired throughout life, it is much-needed for school-age children. This is specifically seen through preschool children. Peer acceptance offers a wide range of learning and development opportunities for children.
This can include things like companionship, recreation, developing social skills, managing competition and conflict, and more. Peer acceptance also creates room for self-exploration, emotional growth, and moral and ethical development.
Studies show that peer acceptance in early childhood is a predictor of peer relations in later life. For instance, children who didn't have friends in kindergarten had difficulties making friends at age 10. All of these learning and development opportunities are needed to continue to grow into adulthood as a healthy individual.