Monday, January 16, 2017

Helping your Kids Make Friends

I love early childhood it is the neatest part of life. It is around the age of three to eight when children begin to think of being and having a friend. It starts out with the funny, sweet bargaining of I will be your friend if...  children do not l Then moves onto I am not your friend and five minutes later we are friends again. Then five minutes later back to broken friendship.

Imaginary friends tend to appear here because some children find the negotiation a little overwhelming. An imaginary friend likes all the things I like and hates all the things I hate. Which is not true of another person. The next stage of frienship moves into understanding friendship versus manipulation and the difference between friends, predators, manipulators, and bullies. Finally, it becomes the stable, happy, place of having true friends. How well and quickly children move through these stages of friendship can depend on temperament, personality, and developmental trends within each child. However, parental support can also make a giant and profound difference. There are four ways parents can support friendship development.

  • Talk about friendship and what it is
  • Develop and Model Good Friendships 
  • Give Kids lots of opportunities to interact with others
  • Be aware of your child's relationships and ask questions which allow them to examine a persons actions as friendly or not
Talk about Friendship

There are three things I recommend parents talk about when describing friendship: liking similar things, agreeing on most things and agreeing to disagree on others, liking to spend time with one another, and always caring for and defending a friend when they are right or helping them to understand when they are wrong.These are the basic characteristics of friendship. When children are taught these characteristics and taught to look for them within their relationships they begin to recognize friends.

Model Good Friendships
Many times adult men  the fact that children are watching their friendships.  friendships. Children can learn a lot of things I'm listening but more often than not they learn through observation. Having good stable friendships that model before think their friendship are about help your children begin to understand what friendship really is. If you are modeling an unhealthy relationship your children will automatically look at that relationship and not what you say it's what friends are. ,

Therefore I encourage you to step back and look at the relationships you have are they modeling good friendships. One way to do this is to ask your yourself is this relationship 1 I would like my child have in the future. If your answer is then it's a relationship that needs to change.

This means you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with your friend about the kind of relationship you have and how you want to model good friendships for your children.  depending when the friend it may mean that you being stronger ways of communicating or sometimes it just means you have to part ways. Ultimately what's really important is that you are focused on creating relationships in your life that you would like your children to emulate.

Help kids develop a Social Circle

We often think that our children have friends in school and sometimes they do but more often than not children have friends based on what they like to do and activities they enjoy. Talk to your kids about what they like to do is an art science dance outdoorsy activities whatever it is find ways for them to get involved and do the things that they like once they're involved and those activities they are more likely to make friend because I already have things in common with the kids were there.

I love the idea of play dates even for kids who are older say 8 to 10. Sometimes our friends live in the same neighborhood but more often in today's world they do not. Allowing kids to plan outings where they meet with their friends and locations as parent wander around to keep an eye on them while they engaged with one another is a great way to encourage friendship for your kids. If you belong to a religious community any kind of kids activities that are involved there is also a really good place for your children to develop friendships.

Teach your kids to be discerning

Children are still learning about friendships matter of fact many adults don't worry about friendships this means that we need to help them to learn to recognize when someone is a friend or when someone want to either manipulate or bully them. Our first inclination is to lecture them about what a friend is but actually the best way to do this is to begin to after child open ended questions about the relationship they're involved in. Deep questions do not have a yes or no answer but rather they are designed to get your children to think. Here some examples:

One of the Hallmarks of friendship is that you and the person you're friends with like to do things together I noticed that a lot of the time you do what Matt wants do you think that's what friend do?

I noticed you were uncomfortable when Mark was pointing out your mistakes to the other boys. Do you think that Matt is showing you support when he acts that way?

What is Ann doing in your relationship that makes you uncomfortable what would you rather Ann do?

Ask Angie questions will help you too get your kid to think about their relationships and ensure that they have those going forward in the future about people in their lives. 

Helping your kids make friends is not so much about choosing the kids your children will become friends with it is more about teaching your children what friendship looks like no matter who the person is. I suggest that before you start talking to your kids about friendship you use the same tool to look at your own relationship first. 85% of what children learn they learn from watching you. I hope this blog helps you to think more about the relationships that you keep your children to build and the relationships You're Building yourself.

 Believe in Parenting

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