Recently, I had lost a person in my life who I considered a good friend. This person and I did everything together. I did not realize the impact they had on every aspect of my life until the friend was no longer in the picture. During the process of losing this friend, mutual friends made were lost in the process too Now looking back when I made them they were not always in the healthiest situations either. Like any type of relationship it takes work, but also communication is key in order to navigate to better help you relate your feelings and concerns to your friends.
Making friends as an adult is as equally as hard as a child growing up today. I hate to say it, people just don’t make friends like they used to. But, how people make friends as an adult is no different than when you were a child. People are attracted to what you have if its money, power of some sort, or just be able to do things for them. You could just be that overall person who has it together where everyone just wants to be your friend. It’s hard even in adulthood to make friends and navigate relationships with concerns you might just be getting used to.
With my recent friendship breakup, the impact it had on my children is what caused concern for me. I am a momma bear and I protect my cubs from pain and hurt. When they see their mom has friends they have friends too! When a friend leaves without some sort of reasoning in a child’s mind they can look at how they should be navigating relationships with their own peers. It’s hard to explain to a child why a person or people are in their life for a moment without telling them the full story. In many cases, it might seem trivial, but it may not be something you can explain to your child at that time.
Today, I want to teach my daughter and son ways I could have made these relationships better. Could that have changed the outcome as to what would have happened? These are questions I ask myself every day, but what I want is for my children to know how to navigate relationships and not get hurt. For me, these tips are ways I help my children to establish a better connection for the right way to have healthy friendships.
Have an “Open Door “ policy
With both my children in various age groups they have to know I am always there. Each child is going to express themselves in getting their concerns heard and points across. These special moments are equally important because your kids need to know you are there for them. Give them your time and attention you might actually learn a piece of what is going on in their little worlds.
Know who your child’s friends are
This is more than you just speaking to your child’s friend, but you also need to get to know their families as well. Learning about this individual and where he or she may come from can clue you in as to what influences your child may pick up. If your child is normally a quiet individual and all of a sudden they become different, this could be a concern of something thing happening within their friendship. This will cause you to pay attention more.
Encourage your kids to make friends with a common interest
It’s great to have friends who like each and everything you do But it is great to encourage your children it is also nice to have friends that like different things too. Making friends is hard, but easier when they all have a common goal. If they are in an activity doing something productive it’s a less chance they will get into trouble.
Be the model to your child show them a healthy relationship
Kids learn from what they see. If they see you having erratic relationships their relationships will most likely be the same. Showing how you navigate through your own relationships will make a difference in your child’s life. If you feel your child not having someone who might represent a good role model, you can also seek a therapist for either in-person sessions or telehealth sessions who can help you to help them navigate healthy relationships. In different aspects of where they are in their development bringing in a third party might provide better clarity. Today it is more important as children are navigating more virtual relationships.
Teach your child how to see into people
My grandmother used to say, ” a friend is nothing but a dollar in your pocket. If you have dollars you will always have friends.” Today this can be seen as a loaded statement. To a child, if they have things they will believe they will always have friends. Or the opposite, if they have nothing they will have no friends. As much as I respected the ways my grandmother taught me, this can not apply fully to how kids think of making friends today. You want to teach your kids better ways to see if a person is truly their friend or not. Teaching them that they have to listen and be open, but also learn not to be impulsive or get caught in a situation is what will help your child navigate through moments like this.
All these tips are ones I should have used in my recent relationships. It’s one of those things you do live and learn. What I have learned from these relationships is, that in order to protect my children from getting into further unhealthy relationships is to incorporate these tips into my personal relationships so they can model healthy ones themselves.
So tell me, what are some tips you use with your children in order to help them navigate through healthy friendships?