Helping children navigate friendships can be quite a challenge.
My daughter seems to get on with it quite well and although falls out with friends it just sorts its self out after a day or two. My eldest son on the other hand has it quite different. The boys in his class seem to have very firm best friends and are not always willing to let others join in that, and some very strong personalities has made for a rocky path.
Here are my top tips for helping them through the ups and downs of friendship:
- Let them choose – as hard as that can be. We can encourage who we would like them to be friends with having those children for playdates with but ultimately it’s up to them.
- Accept they may not be best friends with your friend’s children.
- As they get older explain we can’t get on with everyone (as adults we don’t so we can’t really expect our children to) but they can be kind and polite to everyone.
- If things are not going so well it’s OK to tell someone whether that’s you or a member of staff at school.
- Help them understand that we can all disagree with each other bit it’s how we deal with it and become friends again that’s important.
- Saying sorry is also important and we must set the example by saying sorry to our partners and children when we have messed up.
- Discourage the use or threat of violence to sort out friendship issues.
- Encourage them to say positive things about people, we must do that too, even about those people we find a challenge.
- Tell our children the positive things we see in them. Build up their own self esteem so some hurtful remark that maybe said may just slip away unheeded.
- Accept children can at times be mean and say hurtful things, and that will include our own children.
Do you have any tips to help with friendships? Do let us know below.
This is our regular Tips for Parenting guest post by Beckie Whitehouse from Be Confident Coaching.
Photos courtesy of Microsoft Clipart.