As parents, we all want our kids to maintain their health, do well in school and have a full social life. We take them to their doctor appointments, extracurricular activities and get them extra help in school when needed. So how do we help our kids form rich and meaningful relationships? Once children understand how to play, take turns and get along with their peers, they begin to develop skills needed to collaborate with others.
Organizing a million after school and weekend playdates and carpooling our kids to and from after school programs really does make a difference. Not only are they active and busy, you are available during these times to intervene and guide your child through conflict when and if necessary. By supporting our children and helping them resolve issues when they are young, we give them tools for success later on in life. We can help our children out by giving them some sound tips and advice when building relationships. Here is what we have learned about being a Good Friend along the way!
What is a Good Friend?
1. The Give and Take Relationship where both are givers and takers.
The value of relationships that are an equal effort for both parties are essential. It is unfair to only reap the benefits of a friendship, just as it is unfair to put in unreciprocated effort.
2. A friend should have friends that are also outside of the “friend group.”
Though a friend group may be the nucleus of your social life, it is important to maintain friendships in different circles in order to integrate diversity into your own life.
3. A friend is someone that is not afraid to give you their real opinion, no matter if it isn’t exactly what you want to hear.
Personally, I would rather have a friend who is honest with me rather than a “fan” who always agrees with me, and puts aside their own judgement in order to please me.
4. A friend that listens to you and also asks for your advice.
This is a continuation of the “Give and Take” relationship.
5. A friend is someone who gives you courage to try something new.
A friend encourages you to be a little wild and broaden your horizons, yet is there to ground you when your head is too far up in the clouds.
6. A friend is someone who encourages you to reach your full potential and doesn’t hold you back from your dreams.
A friend realizes the difference between their best interest and yours, and though they won’t always agree, will always support your achievements.
7. A friend is someone who doesn’t judge you.
A friend will always pick up the phone when you call them in tears in the middle of the night and will listen impartially.
8. A friend laughs with you and not at you.
Your friend understands your boundaries, and can differentiate between what is funny and what is sensitive.
9. A friend is a good influence.
They will not enable you to make choices that they know will put you in danger.
10. A friend is someone who appreciates and accepts differences.
11. A friend is someone who is real and allows you to be yourself.
A real friendship is one where you are comfortable.
12. A friend is loyal.
When we are loyal to one, they prove worthy of many. A true friend would never abandon a friendship for someone who is “cooler,” or because of a disagreement with a mutual person.
13. A friend is someone who makes time for you no matter how busy they are.
Yet, you’re also able to understand when your friend is busy, and able to allow them space. When you get together again it is as if nothing has changed and you can pick up where you left off.
14. A friend is someone that is mindful and present.
Your friend isn’t constantly on their phone and posting on social media when you spend time together, and dedicates quality time instead of “quantity” time to all their friendships.
15. A true friend will keep us humble.
16. A true friend practices forgiveness and is able to weather the storm.
You come out stronger than before.
17. Your friends are not your “Facebook friends” or Instagram followers, they are real.
Friends are present in your life, and not just online or when it is convenient to them.
Parents can lead by example
Our ultimate mission as parents is the success and achievement of our children. Allowing our children to grow and expand their understanding of what a good friend actually is will help them prepare for their future. What we teach our children will be mirrored and portrayed in their daily life. We play such an important role in our children’s lives.
Hailey Kobrin contributed to this article!
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