Friendships are an intrinsic part of life for most of us. It is one of the most natural and unforced acts of nature. Remember being three and asking a random child on the playground, "Wanna be my friend?" I remember so vividly. I've been lucky to have found some amazing ones throughout my 37 years. I've known some of my closest friends for decades, some only a couple of years but you would never ever know. Some of my friends came into my life after Amira and I love them just the same or maybe more lol. I want the same for Amira, loving, fulfilling, transparent and memorable friendships. But as we all know, along with the fun, laughter, support, and caring that comes with having friends, we occasionally encounter conflict, hurt feelings, anger, and sadness and we have to go back to our notes on "How to be a Good Friend".
Friendships take work, just like any other relationship, and it's important that we give our children the tools to find good friends and become good friends themselves. Here are Five Tips to Teach Your Daughter How to be a Good Friend....
1. LISTEN-- I began with the art of listening because it will help them in so many other areas of their relationships in the future. Communication builds understanding in friendships, romantic relationships, and work relationships. If their little 8-year-old selves can understand and master listening at a young age imagine how great they will be as good listeners at 25, maybe they will listen to their mommies lol. Teach them to listen to their friend's stories and not over talk. Teach them to listen to what their friends got for Christmas and how their day is going.
2. SELF ESTEEM -- The best BFFs are little girls who are confident in themselves, know the value of self-love and not searching for others to fill an emotional void within. Teaching your daughter values like self-worth and confidence, you'll be teaching her that giving compliments to others doesn't dim her big ole light inside.
3. WE CAN ALL BE FRIENDS -- I really really value teaching Amira this little gem of "We can all be friends". Growing up I struggled with friendship because some of my friends would try to make me choose. You know how it was, well you were my friend first or you can't be her friend because you are supposed to be my friend chatter. I want to teach Amira that all of her friends can be friends. Entitlement in friendship is not healthy. There is so much love to spread that fighting over friendship is pretty petty --- and there is no pettiness in this BFF club.
4. HMMMM YOU BE A GOOD EXAMPLE AND BE A GOOD FRIEND---So Mommies, you do know that your precious little daughter is watching every single move and stride you make. She learns friendship by how she sees you interact with your friends, if they see and hear you reaching out to friends to check in, surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people, and investing time and energy into your friendships, they will more than likely to do the same.
5. TEACH CONFLICT RESOLUTION--- Friends fight, we bicker, we start arguments over the silliest thing, right?! especially girls. Teach your daughter the value of conflict resolution and not holding on to grudges that are detrimental to lifelong friendships. Teach your daughters how to hug and make up after an argument or disagreement. Accepting responsibility for our own mistakes, apologizing, and moving forward in a positive direction are key skills for friendships and relationships in general.
Do you have any tips on friendship or any lessons you've had to learn in being a good friend? I'd love to hear.