Good friends, really true friends, are important no matter how old a person is. However, they are especially important to kids. As kids get older and enter the teen years, they may start to gravitate towards friendships that aren’t good for them. More friends are not always better. That’s why it’s so important to teach our kids to spot and cultivate the good friends in their lives. So they can have that feeling of inclusion without getting into trouble or letting themselves be walked all over.
How to Teach Kids About Good Friends, True Friends
The teen years were difficult for you, and they’ll be difficult for your kid, too. Here’s how you can work to teach your kids about true friends so that they’ll have a better chance of making good decisions about who to bring home to that slumber party.
Build Negotiating Skills
Being a good friend is all about giving and taking. No one person in any healthy friendship should feel as if they are being taken advantage of. While you can’t control who your kids befriend, you can work to teach them good negotiation skills so they’ll know how to be certain of all their friendships based on a balance of giving and taking.
While some kids are born with more empathy than others, it’s a skill that all human beings need to work on. Kids generally have more empathy during their younger years, but teenagers struggle with it. Work to build your kid’s empathy skill so they can understand more about their friends, even if they don’t agree with them.
Every healthy friendship has a listen and talk balance. When your kid finds that they are friends with people who simply want to be heard all the time but don’t let your kid speak in return to engage in good communication, then that friendship may not be a good one. Work with your kids to develop proper communication skills so they can demand healthy friendships.
Be Okay with Goodbye
Most kids fear the idea of not wanting to be friends with certain people. It’s taught from a young age that they should be kind to everyone. Teach your kids that choosing not to befriend someone doesn’t make them a bad person. It simply means that they are making a polite choice not to group with people who don’t seem to fit what they’ve been taught as being a healthy friendship. Teach them to be okay with saying goodbye to negative friendships. They will have more room in their lives for healthy ones.
Healthy Friendships Start with Understanding Them
Healthy friendships are formed when our kids know what to look for in a good friendship. These tips can help you teach your kids about healthy friendships. Not only will it teach your kids about being a good friend, but it will give them the knowledge they need to know how to stand up when they feel that they have gotten themselves into a bad situation.