Wednesday, February 17, 2010

That's what friends are for, In good times, In bad times...

A recent Question popped up in Counselling Section:

"I am a 13 year old boy studying in a reputed school of Mumbai. I have a difficulty making friends and fitting into groups. I don’t talk too much and brag too much like the other popular boys. My parents have always taught me good values and I think I am a good person but looks like no one wants me as their friend. That makes me sad. I don’t know what to do. Can you help me?" (Find the Counselling zone answer here)

Parents are the ones to instill good values but having no friends and not mixing up isn't a good idea either. You can't expect all friends to be good as some may be nasty. Neither, bragging or blowing trumpet is necessary to impress someone. I always feel that's the other way round sometimes. Friendship is natural and it comes along well with positive conversations and mutual interests. It is not forceful neither prolonged if your ideas don't match the other.

I believe,One thing really important for a child is Making connections and parents should encourage children to choose them when they are younger kids. Children do make friends on their own but yet, a parental guiding help can add to his positive friendship :

1. Help the child to be friendly. Simply listening or talking, sharing and appreciating the other and even sharing alikeness - for a video game or a even an activity in class.
2. Help the child to compete - In the sense, master the skills the others have and admire. Be it playing a keyboard or guitar, playing sports or arts.
3. Avoid being negative and impulsive. Listen to the child on what he has to say of his friends rather than stop him and showing your distaste of his friend. He may strong feel of his friend that you don't, maybe.
4. Help the child to solve conflicts. Social skills are necessary as they can learn to settle themselves at times of disputes with others.
5. Don't involve in small arguments of children. If they go physical, take your stand. Let the kids work out on their own.
6. Let the kids practice co-operation and understand feelings of others.
7. Help the kids to share, care and be kind and gentle with friends.
8. Know your child's friends. Invite them for play, birthday celebrations, etc.

This way, a parent can know of how well your child's friends are and also learn from their positive ways to help your child set example. If your child has a bad friendship, it makes you alert to guide.

In friendship groups, you children are apt to have friends with good or bad habits. Parents should always guide on how to handle nasty friends. This necessary do not mean ditching them but either guide them to be better or keep distance.

If your child has no friends, it is a signal to be alert as social skills are lacking and in such situations, he becomes a loner and all work, no play makes Jack always a dull boy!

Check in to Counselling zone and explore for more such answers.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids
Author of Guardian of Angels

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