Friends, How They Influence Kids

What is friendship in a kid’s life? I bet you can name your first friend without missing a beat! Not just any friend but the very first one. If you can’t, it’s OK to take a moment and think back. Take a simple stroll back in time, and you will suddenly remember that friend as you walk through events and timelines. So what was it about this friend that seemed unique or stood out? I am sure you fondly remember the adventures, escapades, great fun, and everything between those times. 

Whatever your age, I am sure you have always had the few you could always count on that were not your immediate family. Instead, you are blessed with what we know as friends who become family! 

Kids have a simple formula to make friends. They seek those that match their wavelength and bond. As tiny tots, they don’t have hidden agendas to make or have friends. They know that so and so is my friend and if you ask them why the most probable answer is “simply because!” So before judging these innocent souls, remember you once were just like them. 

As I write this, I realize I have lost some of these friends along life’s journey. Strangely, we were supposed to be BBFs (Best Friends Forever). Somehow, those friends are now nothing but a whisp of a memory. But one thing is sure. The lessons I learned being around them helped me make better friends and forge better relationships as I progressed in life.

“Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are,” ever heard this line? This world has much more good than we care to admit. I say this simply because I have some of the best friends in the world. I also say this because I know they (these friends) and I would give our lives for each other. I have known several of them for many years now. 

What would a child need to make or have this kind of quality friends?

1. Communication 

Yup, children need it too. Teaching a child to talk to and be with others their age helps. This is also vital as the child interacts with others. It helps them continue to sharpen this elementary and yet essential skill.

2. Networking Skills 101

From saying hi, being friendly, thanking, and sharing, all add up to networking crafts. This works for grown-ups too! Try it! Have you noticed how well children make friends? That is because it is built into their DNA. Humans, I have read this somewhere, are social animals. Which means we were not built to live in isolation.

3. To have a friend, you got to be a friend

This is an addition to the previous point. Teaching your child to be compassionate and empathetic helps them make friends, stand up for each other, and use their simple yet non-judgemental approach. Kids make friends for life or at least better than most grown-ups. 

It is also essential to keep track of how your child is behaving. They learn a lot by observing and are still in the process of finding themselves. In their younger years, you have nothing to worry about. They are just chilling with their clique. As they grow older, they keep track of what’s going on in their lives. You do not want to wake up one day to a strange teenager in your kitchen eating all your food and running wild. You knew one as a sweet child, but it has changed due to neglectful parenting. As a parent, you must know who your child is connected with or hangs out with. Remember, the child is not trying to rebel or prove a point at a young age. 

However, as they grow, you will need to be sure they are running in the right groups or hanging out with a good crowd. Do not ever take it easy and then blame your child, later on, saying, “I did not want to interfere.” Also, please do just what is necessary. Know their friends and keep an eye as a loving parent should. Have the friends come over for a game day, for a meal, and if possible, get their parents over just for a get-to-know-you meeting/ meal/ tea. Whatever you do for your child’s safety, do it from a space of love, concern, and care. And do this FROM A DISTANCE. Then, your child will be just fine.

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