Give Importance To Your Child’s Friends

Child FriendsAfter parents and teachers, it is the child’s friends who play a vital role in shaping his character. As parents, we should give due importance to his choice and pay attention to those he calls friends.

  • Apart from family, the first relationship that a child forms in his own  right is with his peers. At a very young age itself, he learns to share, to interact, to be part of a group. It is important that we, as parents, encourage him to form friendships even while he is a toddler.

  • As the child grows older, friendships take on a broader context. It is not merely playing and sharing toys anymore. Talking and expressing one’s self becomes very important. It is vital that the parents get to know the friends with whom their child is exchanging ideas and whose opinions and actions are influencing his character.

  • Encourage the child to invite his friends home and take the time to interact with them. This will allow you to get to know the kind of company your child is keeping.

  • Don’t cross question your child’s friends or be too inquisitive about their family details. This can embarrass your child as well as create a wrong impression in the friend’s mind.

  • Accept your child’s circle of friends. This will increase your child’s self-esteem and give him a sense of confidence in his judgement.

  • Praise the good qualities that you see in his friends. But don’t let him feel that you are creating comparisons. Your child will automatically pick up the qualities you praise.

  • Sometimes you may feel that certain friends are a bad influence on your child. Instead of forcing your child to end these friendships, you should gently steer him away from them.

  • Teach your child to establish boundaries in friendship. There may be times when friends may pressurize him into doing things he may not want to. Teach him to assert himself in these challenging situations and stand up for what is right.

  • Show your child that it is important to care for friends. To help them in bad times, to visit them when they are ill, to be their strength when they are weak.

Real friends are a genuine treasure. They double your joys and divide your sorrows. They multiply your strength and subtract your weakness. As parents, our role should be to help our child identify good friends and develop the skills that build life long friendship.

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