The value of true friendship

How do you teach your little ones the value of true friendship? Forming relationships with peers is an integral part of development, but not always an easy task. Friends will come and go and there will be heart break along the way.

It’s not easy to see your children suffering at the hands of their so called friends. When my own children have been through tough times I have really felt for them. I remember what it was like to have friends suddenly turn their back on you after deciding that they no longer wanted you as a friend. I remember being blanked in the school yard, being picked on and made to feel small and insignificant. I remember wondering what did I do wrong?

But I also learnt to stand up for myself and somewhere along the way I realised that the people who hurt me were never my friends. Friends should never make you feel bad about yourself. True friends would never belittle you in front of others or make you feel grateful for their friendship. They should never make you feel sad.

I know through experience that a true friend will always be there when you need them. They will support and encourage you, make you laugh and be a shoulder to cry on. You know that when you are with a true friend you can always be yourself, share your problems and never feel judged.

I try to tell my children this but they are still young and they don’t understand it. They haven’t found a true friend yet, one they can call a kindred spirit for life. I’m lucky that I have a friend like that. Someone who has known me for 27 years, who I have grown up with and experienced good times and bad times with. It doesn’t matter if I don’t speak to or see my best friend for weeks because I know that as soon as I do, it will be as though we had only spoken the day before. Nothing ever changes between us.

My advice to my children is that they should walk away from the children who hurt them or make them feel bad. To stop wasting their time by trying to make these children like them. One day I hope they will make a friend like mine. Then they will finally know what true friendship means and the bad times they have suffered along the way will pale in to insignificance.

Until that day, all I can do is continue to mop up their tears when things go wrong, give them a hug and tell them how special they are.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful friend. You know who you are.

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29 responses to “The value of true friendship

  1. You are so right! I too am lucky to have a true friend like that – two in fact – who I grew up with and can trust with anything. I hope my kids will too.

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  2. I love friends like that – so glad you found one. We are working with our boys, too, on finding great friends. Thankfully, there are a lot of great families with little boys in our neighborhood and in our church congregation.

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  3. Very true! When my daughter was 4 she wanted so badly to be friends with a 7 yr old daughter of an acquaintance we would see occasionally, but the 7 yr old was always mean to her. It was hard to get her to understand that she shouldn’t be friends or even want to be friends with people who were mean to her. Broke my heart :(

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    • That is horrible, I’ve seen the same thing. Children can be so mean and it’s difficult to know when to intervene and when to stay out of it. Older girls often think they are too grown up to play with little ones, but the little ones have a hard tie accepting that.

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  4. My son is 4 and is starting to build friendship. I’m amaze on how friendly he is now. And I let him play on a picnic and he would go back w/ someone. But my wish is the same. I wish he can learn how to tell if the person is someone worth keeping & fighting. And I wish he’ll meet real good friends for his to treasure all his life =) #magicmoments

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  5. What a lovely post. I’m so lucky as I have three besties who have been there for me; for the laughs and the tears. They are literally my ‘sisters’ and I truly hope Lucas is as lucky as he gets older. Great post #magicmoments

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  6. I love this. It’s something I’ve been talking to my 7 year old a lot about lately. She is struggling with someone that I feel is NOT a good friend to her, and I just pray that she will recognize true friends eventually.

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    • It’s really hard, especially if they look up to the other person. I’ve had to pick up the pieces a few times over the same person, but I think the message is beginning to get through, so hang in there.

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  7. Good friends are worth their weight in gold, I don’t see my oldest friends often, but we always just pick up where we left off. I dread the day that my kids find out that not everyone is going to be a friend, I think it will break my heart a little, but it is a lesson that they will learn x

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  8. You know we had this sort of conversation today. My 6 year old caught up with our neighbours but they didn’t wait for me to catch up. When I got there my son wanted to walk a different way to follow them, and I said don’t chase people who don’t want to make time for you.

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  9. I find as my children get older, it becomes harder for them to deal with the intricacies of friendship and there’s a lot more explaining for me to do! Such as sometimes friends tell fibs, sometimes you fall out with them, and so on. We spend quite a bit of time working out who is a true friend and who, perhaps, is just playing at it. Tricky life lessons, but hopefully rewarded by those proper friendships.

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  10. I find it very hard to watch my children hurt by their so-called friends. I’ve seen it on a few occasions and have had to stop myself from interfering. Like you said, all you can do is give hugs. It’s all a part of growing up.

    Happy Birthday to your friend. xx

    #WotW
    Morgan x

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