One of the main concerns parents have as their children grow up is whether their children will be good friends or not. In their own experience, parents realize that friends can have such a powerful influence on their children, for better or for worse. Because of this influence, some parents fall into the trap of trying to control who their children can befriend. Once parents get into a fight for control of who will allow their children to make friends, parents wage an invincible war that usually loses both sides and leaves the parent-child relationship strained if not broken.
Many of us know the parents who waged this war only to realize that this prompted their children’s desire to spend time with the children their parents care about most. These parents say to their kids, “I don’t want you to befriend that boy. I don’t think he has a good influence on you” or “Why don’t you make best friends? These guys just bother you.”
When parents question or criticize their children’s ability to choose good friends, the message they send to their children is, “You have bad judgment and wrong thoughts if you choose these children as your friends” or “You can’t make good decisions about friends. Yours, so maybe you will follow what others are doing and get into trouble. ”
Why do good healthy children from stable homes make friends with wild children? Kids sometimes choose to befriend nature walkers because they want adventure and excitement, and wild kids create adventure and excitement. Just because our kids make friends with kids who walk in nature doesn’t necessarily mean they will become like them; Especially if we give them the opportunity to make many mistakes, and with pain and compassion we allow them to feel the consequences of those mistakes.
Although parents can be very careful about the choice of friends their children make, parents can go a long way in helping their children learn to make good decisions about friends and what to do with them. While parents take advantage of opportunities to educate their children, rather than dominate them, their children will be more prepared when they set out and navigate the real world.
Here are some tips that parents should consider if they feel that their children are starting to make “wrong friends”:
Parents can refrain from calling their children’s friends “bad”. Because most people aren’t all bad, parents tend to lose credibility with their children, calling their child’s friend “bad,” especially if that friend did something nice for their child.
Parents can ask their children what they like about this particular friend. This will not only show your child that you care about him or her and their friends, but it will also give parents information about the need that the relationship with this friend fulfills for their child. So parents can do things to help see this need positively.
-Parents can send messages to their children that show trust and guidance, saying things like, “It looks like this kid could use good friends. I hope many of you caress him. I think he will. I would. ” it will be useful to know it; Why don’t you bring it with you? “more at home”.
Finally, parents can embrace the child in question and help him feel included and with a sense of belonging. Many children who care for their parents may not come from stable homes or have a sense of belonging or togetherness. Healthy adults have a wonderful opportunity to reach out to these children and help them feel that they are important and belong to them. They can do this by inviting these children to participate in family events or simply by inviting them to eat with the family. Good food can have a powerful and comforting effect on children who lack stability.
In short, although parents may not be able to effectively control who their children choose as friends, parents have a great deal of influence in building good relationships with their children’s friends (even scary ones). Because parents show confidence in their children’s ability to make good decisions with friends and then guide their friends into the arms of the family, parents can have a big impact on the relationships and situations in which they are involved. Their children.