Having good friends and being a good friend to others makes children happy. Sometimes children are not sure why they find it difficult to make or keep friends. Here are some of the keys of friendship that we can think about when we ask the question: Am I being a good friend and am I choosing friends that are good for me?
Good friends make you feel good
Good friends say and do things that make you feel good, giving compliments and congratulations and being happy for you and you will do the same.
Good friends support and help each other
If you’re feeling down, a good friend will support you. If you need help, a good friend will try to help you out and you will do the same.
Good friends don’t always have everything in common and that’s okay
Everyone is different and has different hobbies and interests. Even if you do not like the exact same things, a good friend will encourage you rather than make you feel bad for liking something different and you will do the same. A good friend understands that sometimes you like to do your own thing but will still do things with you, appreciating your differences, and you will do the same.
Good friends listen
A good friend allows you to talk and doesn’t interrupt you and you will do the same. They are interested in what you have to say and you are interested in what they have to say.
Good friends are trustworthy
If you tell a good friend something private, they won’t share it. You can trust a good friend not to be judgmental and you will do the same.
Good friends handle conflict respectfully and respect boundaries
Sometimes you and your friend might disagree on something. Sometimes you might have said or done something that upsets your friend. A good friend will tell you if you’ve done something to hurt them. If you tell a good friend they’ve hurt you, they’ll be sorry and won’t do it again.
Good friendships go both ways
It’s not a good friendship if one of you is doing all the giving and the other is doing all the taking. Good friends make each other feel good, rather than one friend receiving all the encouragement and support while the other friend gives this all the time or where one friend is doing all the talking and the other is doing all the listening, all the time. In a good friendship, you are both working to make each other feel great!
Having a group of friends
Don’t limit yourself by having just one “best friend”. Your friendship is something special which you can share with everyone who needs a friend! Sometimes friends drift apart or fall out. That’s a part of life. Having more than one friend means it’s more likely there will be someone who can help you when you need it.
Friends not followers
In the digital world you can feel under pressure to have a lot of friends and followers. Remember that you only need to have a small circle of friends to be happy and it is a good idea to keep your most precious (and private) thoughts and moments for those that really care about you.
Making friends is a skill that needs to be taught. As we continue to talk about the keys to building better friendships, you can help your child build these skills through conversation, role play and helping them to think about their friendships.
Gail Mitchell – Head of Primary