Friday Introduction: Encouraging Positive Friendships

I'm honored to have my blogging friend, Rosann, from ChristianSuperMom guest posting about friendships today. It's a timely reminder as our kids head back to school. And congratulations to Cindy Bischoff, who is the winner of our 31 Gifts Utility Tote giveaway.

It’s almost that time of year again.  Soon my daughter will be meeting her 2nd grade teacher and reuniting with friends from last year.  I’m grateful she has a natural love for school and learning.

I’m cautiously watchful when it comes to her friendships, though.

Since she was old enough to play with other kids, I’ve been teaching her the importance of being the salt and the light, a friend to all.

What I never prepared her for is how to determine when a friendship is not worth pursuing.  I guess the thought never crossed my mind that she’d be in a position of having to unfriend someone.

But toward the end of last school year, there was this bully...

...my daughter was emotionally damaged.  An attack on her faith, spun into a vicious lie where others were also deeply hurt.

I didn’t want to be that mom who sticks her nose in her children’s friendships.  But I had to do something to protect her from any future recurrences.

So I stepped in and forced an end (the best I could) to an unhealthy friendship.

As school resumes, I pray old pains and rumors will be forgotten.  Additionally, I have a plan.

A Plan for Encouraging Positive Friendships

 1.  Keep An Open Line Of Communication

Children need to trust they won’t be in trouble or looked down on if they share details of their world with one or both of their parents.  Ask questions and be sure to listen attentively to how their day went.  Choose words carefully keeping your child’s feelings in mind.  Remember to respond with grace.

2.  Embrace Teachable Moments

Look for teachable moments in the every day.  When watching a TV show together.  When reading books together.  When observing others interacting with one another.  Read and discuss with your child what the Bible teaches about friendship.  Continually reinforce the characteristics of a healthy relationship.

3.  Encourage Positive Friendships

Make it a point to invite your child’s friends over for fun activities or play dates.  Get to know the family of their friends.  Host game night or dinner at your home and invite the family over.  Become friends with their friends.  Say a friendly “hello!” whenever you see your child’s friends at school or extra-curricular functions.

4.  Set A Good Example

Children learn by watching how their own family members behave in different situations.  Set a good example.  Nurture your own relationships.  Be a good friend.  Adults can be bullies too.  Don’t be a victim.

What steps do you take to help nurture your child’s friendships?

 

Rosann Cunningham is a Christian Author, wife to the man of her dreams, and stay-at-home mom to two delightful little girls. When she’s not out for a jog or having energy burning dance parties with her daughters, she can be found writing for her blog ChristianSuperMom, and ministering to women whose husbands are in a season of unemployment, at her other website UnEMPLOYED Faith.  Her writing inspiration for both projects comes from a strong desire to glorify God while sharing the heart of her journey through a life of faith.