One of the hardest things for most kids as they grow older is making and keeping friends. This is something that bears discussion since it’s not always intuitive for everyone.
Here are the things I’ve taught, and continue to teach, my kids about cultivating friendship:
1. You have to be a friend to have a friend. Treat others how you would like to be treated. Pay attention to your friends feelings and talk about them. Always be kind and be nice to your friend. This may sound basic but these are good lessons for kids to hear & practice over and over, no matter what their age.
2. Be a friend even when they aren’t around. Don’t talk about your friend, unless it’s nicely, behind their back. Think of them when they aren’t around, and respect their feelings. If someone else bashes your friend, don’t engage or defend your friend. Additionally, if you’re on holidays, pick up a token for your friend to show you’re thinking of them.
3. Guilty by association is a real thing. If you hang out with kids who get in trouble, you will probably get in trouble too.
If you have any other tips on how you nurture friendship in your kids, I’d love to hear them!