05 Jul

How to help your child choose the right set of friends?

How to help your child choose the right set of friends?

Friends make a considerable part of a child’s life. So often, in many cases, the impact of friends is more significant than that of parents. Parents might experience this now and then. If they ask their child to do something, he/she might not do it. But, if their friends are doing the same thing, the child will do it.

For instance, if a friend is going to a particular coaching class, your child would also prefer to join the same. If the friend wants to do something during summer, your child will do the same. If the friend wants to wear some clothes, your child would desire to wear the same kind. If the friend has watched the latest movie and your child has not, there is a possibility that your child may get angry.

Yes! The impact of friends can be that huge on children. In such a scenario, you can guide your children on friendship. You can encourage them to get a great set of children as their friends.

How does someone choose a friend? How does someone define a friend?

Let’s keep children aside for a while. Now, let’s focus on ourselves. It is much easier for children to follow what we do in our lives. Do you remember? Your children are still small. They would wear your shoes or your t-shirt. Probably they would look clumsy in it. The clothes and shoes may not fit them but yet they will enjoy doing so.

If parents are self-conscious, chances are children would be self-conscious as well. If parents have a good sense of humour, chances are children will develop the same. If parents respect people, chances are children will do the same. Now, that is the kind of impact parents have on their children’s life.

Similarly, the way you have friends might affect your children. The way you chose your friends. The way you break things up with them. Or, the way you get along with them. So, begin adjusting your ways with your friends. Children will see this and do the same.

Friendship! There is an old saying: A friend in need is a friend indeed. But, again, how do you know if your friend will stand for you when you are in need? Because that is how he/she will be considered as a friend indeed. Well, there are ways to find out that.

There are a few rules by which you can know who your real friend is.

Rule No. 1:

If you are doing something wrong, does your friend gracefully point it out? Does he/she let you know what you are doing is wrong? In other words; the friend must not stand nastiness when you are doing something wrong.

Rule No. 2:

A friend will come to your help even when you haven’t asked for help. Also if we don’t talk about such a strong friendship, a friend will help you when you need it. If you are feeling lonely and call your friend, he/she should be there to talk to you. Your friend should be there to support you while you are emotionally weak. A friend on whom you can truly count on.

There are friends who will call you when they need help. But, won’t offer you support or turn busy when you are in need. Someone who mocks you all the time. Someone who complains about you in your absence. These are the people you need to stay away from. At least don’t consider them as a good friend.

Do you stay with such people? If yes, then your children will find the same kind of friends for themselves. They will see that these are the kind of people you need in your life. As their parents surround with such people, children will too.

But, in case you have another kind of friends; somebody who is always there for you; somebody who understands you. Your children will find the same set of friends for themselves.

How to help your child choose the right set of friends?
Rule No.3:

There is a difference between a friend and an acquaintance. Millions of acquaintances surround us. Some of whom we know. Your neighbors, your classmates, these are acquaintances, the people you know. But friends are the ones whom you can depend on. If you cannot rely on them, they are acquaintances, not friends.

Among the friends you have now, segregate them in two parts; friends and acquaintances. You don’t necessarily know the acquaintances. You don’t dream a dream with your acquaintances. You do that with a friend.

Make a small list of your friends. A friend is somebody who is a watchman in your life. Somebody who won’t let the thief and stranger pass through to steal your friendliness. Somebody who is your secret keeper. Somebody who will stop you when you are doing something wrong.

In the end, if you have a list of 5 friends you are extraordinarily blessed. If you have 3, you are doing exceptionally great. Even if you have two such friends, you are a smart person.

As for acquaintances, you don’t have to make a list. There will be thousands of them. Then sit with your children and discuss with them. Let them know that this is what you think of friendship. Ask them what their thoughts are about a friend. You don’t need to lecture them anything. You don’t need to teach them anything. Just involve your children in the discussion.

Ask your children if the list you have made of your friends is right. Ask them why they are on the list. Ask them if you have missed out on someone who should be on the list. You will see your children analyzing the list and discussing. Through this discussion, you will be able to guide your children to make the right set of friends. You will also come to know what your children have in mind about friendship.

Finally, you turn the situation around. You ask your children to make their list of friends. Once the list is made, ask them why those friends are on the list. Children have a sense of wisdom. As they have seen you make a list before, they will continue to do so in a similar manner. They will themselves know what kind of friends they need to be with. Eventually, only good friends will be on their list.

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