Help Kids Choose the Right Friends
Starting from the age of 4-5, children start to develop friendships and share bonds, and roughly a few years later from then on, parents start to get concerned over their associations- and that’s natural. As a parent, it is okay for you to worry about if your kid has the right friends or not, since the circle they are in can have a huge impact on their happiness, personality, school performance and wellbeing and life in general.
So here’s a little help for you in that area. Read on to discover some actionable ways to help your kids choose the right friends and develop connections that flourish for the years to come.
Fuel Their Passion
One of the best ways to encourage your kid to make new friends and interact socially, and then help him choose the right friends is to first help them discover their passion. Growing children tend to have a specific inclination towards something- it can be drawing and painting, a particular sport, writing or anything else. Help your child discover what interests and then encourage it.them
Perhaps get them enrolled in a class that helps hone their skills revolving around their passion, and get thento connect with other children who have the same interests. This is a great way to help a child develop friendships with those who share a common interest.
Compare Friends to Elevators
Teach your kids that friends are like elevators- they can either take you up or down. Remind your kids that choosing the right friends will help them in all phases of life. Good friends will motivate them, push them towards achieving their goals, will support them. Help them create new friends- set up playdates and allow them to attend all school festivals and social gatherings to get them to mix and mingle with new people.
This will help them learn and understand what it is like to have good friends.
Model Healthy Friendships
Teach your children what it means like to be a good friend. Offer examples from real life without being too pushy, and teach them that good friends develop over time, and get stronger with time. Be a good friend yourself in your own life- your kids will pick that up from you more easily than you’d believe- your little ones watch your every move. Be there with a helping hand whenever your kid needs you. Talk about your good friends and what it is that makes them a good friend.
Teach Friendship Through Stories
Storytelling is a great way to encourage kids to learn about essential things and develop important values. Look up some good books that teach children about friendships and good friends, and sit down with your kids and read them together.
Books to encourage positive relationships
Do take a look at Create Your Own Happy the book I co-authored with Penny Alexander – filled with happiness boosting activities for kids. It contains loads of ideas to help children learn to be and have good friends and social connections. You might also like to take a look at The Friendship Maze by Tanith Carey – it considers the complex social pressures that impact today’s kids and offers practical solutions for building your child’s social skills
I hope you have found these tips on how to help kids choose the right friends helpful – you might also like my post on how to teach kids to be generous