Being A Good Friend – Teaching Life Skills To Your Child

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” These beautiful quotes on Friendship Day are meaningful and one only realizes the true importance of friendship when they have managed to invest a great amount of time and deal in building everlasting relationships with their near and dar ones. Don’t you think it does matter? Regardless of the time and location, and time… It does matter! No matter how evolved we maybe, a human craves for the warmth of love, and attention.

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Friendships are an integral part of any person’s life that contributes to the personality of an individual. Friendships need a lot of time, nurturing, and effort. It is imperative that parents sow the seeds of beautiful friendships `in children from their childhood. Making great friends for life is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some can make friends instantly, while others take time. So a parent should be able to explain the meaning of genuine friendship early-on to their child. I know t might sound easier than it really is, but these easy tips and common suggestions can be helpful (or so we are told)!

1. Traits of a friend

It is vital that a child learns the real meaning of a true friend. The three traits that define a genuine bond of friendship: (i) Trustworthiness, (ii) Genuinity, and (iii) Loyalty. Teach your child the importance of loyalty. It is very important for any relation, especially friendship to last for life. Friends are an amazing source of inspiration and positivity, especially during rough times. 

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2. Books on friendship

There are hundreds of children’s bedtime stories which script the beauty of friendships in a very subtle and serene fashion. Some of them are Friends: Making them and keeping them; The Feelings Book, and Stand Up For Yourself and Your Friends. Let your kids read these and take learning from them. 

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3. Being empathetic

Empathy is an emotion that mostly as children, no one teaches us. Introduce the kids to these emotions and feelings; help them understand themselves and their sentiments. This will enable them to connect with their friends and provide emotional comfort. This will make them stronger individuals and not seek abandonment.

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4. Sharing is caring

As parents, it is very important that you help your child understand the importance of sharing and caring. Sharing, not just materialistic. But, sharing their happiness and sadness with their friends and make their path of learning life. This will also help them to express themselves without any apprehension or fear of judgment or rejection. In turn, they would be matured and strong to care for their friends as well.

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5. Lead by example

All said and done, as a parent, you need to show in action, the virtues of true friendship. Your child will always look up to you for inspiration. So display positive emotions, and build a conducive environment where friendship is nurtured and encouraged. Showcase the social skills, which you want your child to imbibe. In short, be a role model for your child.

As I write this blog, I am blessed to say that, I have friendships with seeds sown some twenty years back and well-nourished with time and trust. The best takeaway from school life. Life skills like these, groomed at an early age will help the child make the best out of his or her life.

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