Are you raising a friendly child?

Children need to spend time with friends. Net photo.

Making friends and keeping them are two different yet important aspects. Sometimes the kind of friends your child has or associates with can influence them or vice versa.

Have you ever thought about a world without friends, it could be boring, right? Just as you might want your children to meet and have good friends, ask yourself whether they are sociable enough. If your answer is no, then what are you doing to make them friendly?

Mould good friendship behaviour. If you are friendly, absolutely your child will be. When they hear you call your friends to check up on them, when you’re there for them in both good and bad times, supporting each other, this is what your kid will copy. They will know the value of friendship.

Centre on traits of good friendship. Honesty, trustworthiness, empathy, and being a good listener; are all important qualities in friendship, which your child must know.

Read with your child books about friendship. This is one of the greatest ways to teach kids about being a good friend. Don’t speak ill about your friends in front of your children, you will be planting a seed of hate and pretence to them. They copy every tiny thing that you do.

Train them to shun issues that ruin friendship. Your child should not criticise, condemn or erroneously complain about others. Coach them to be good listeners, and they should be able to encourage others to talk about themselves and most importantly they must make others feel important but also commend others’ achievements and be empathetic.

Affirm their special qualities and teach them to recognise other people’s special gifts. They must know that they differ, for instance; with talent, if one is gifted in drawing, another can be gifted in writing, singing, dancing among other gifts. One shouldn’t make fun of the other for having a different talent.

Talk to your child about their sense of humour, intelligence, or thoughtfulness. They will learn to value and seek out those qualities in others.

Give kids a chance to spend time with friends and new people. You can only befriend people if you have time with them. Teach your kids to treat others only as they would wish to be treated. They should appreciate their friends for what they could offer, without expecting more.

Define to your child who a bad friend is. Good friends should understand responsibility for their own faults, apologise, and move forward in a positive direction.

Inform kids about team building activities. They should play games; do homework and other activities that keep them together.

Characters of good friends

Good friends are loyal (they count others with value), faithful, trustworthy, thoughtful, truthful. As a parent, endow time in instilling good character by teaching values of a good friend to your child because if they are friendly, they will never fail to find friends.

Imparting friendly behaviours does not happen in a second, it takes time but when the character is attained, you are proud as a parent as well. A mean child embarrasses his parents.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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