Childhood Friendships

Childhood friendships are as special as they are a necessary part of growing up. While some of our children will maintain these friendships into adulthood, many will not. Kids move away or they find other friends with more current interests and grow apart. Whatever form a childhood friendship is taking, know that these relationships are vital to your child's well-being and growth as a human being.

Your child may have one very special friend from the time they are in diapers or they might have a gaggle of giggling girl friends or a thunderstorm of wild boy friends. These bonds can be helped along or a wedge can be placed between them by the parents. Depending upon your feelings about your child's friend, you could welcome the child into your home and be gracious or you could find that the child your child is enthralled with is a demon incarnate. It's up to you to teach your kids how to interact in healthy ways with their peers or how to let negative friendships go.

While I've been traumatized by a few of my daughters' friends, I have liked most of them. The few children whom I found intolerable were not too welcome in my home, however, if one of my daughter's insisted on a play date with that undesirable child, I would allow the friendship to take its course, mostly to try and figure out what in the world my child liked about her/him. Made for some interesting lessons in humanity. ;-) Most of these friendships have faded in good time, on their own. One or two of these kids have actually won me over and now are among my favorites, although I must admit these kids were basically OK to begin with. They just came with issues I didn't want to deal with. I dealt for my child's sake and all turned out well.

A child who is a truly bad influence on your child will need to be shunned, as painful as that may seem to your child at the time. I find that if you adequately explain that the child in question isn't very "nice" or has actually hurt or emotionally abused your child; this can be sufficient reason for your child to understand the situation without too much trauma. If they resist your urging to make new friends or avoid the horrid one, you will probably need to be tolerant until your child digests the circumstances and moves on in her own time. This helps your child learn to differentiate between people they want to spend time with, those they don't and to make their own choices.

The children you like and who are good influences on your child should be invited over often. Have them stay for dinner, take them along on family or fun outings and allow them to become part of your extended family just as your own friends are.

Children need to know their friends are welcome in their home. Treat their buddies with the same respect you would expect your children to treat your pals. They will see how you interact with others who visit and will learn how to be good friends and gracious hosts themselves.

© Rexanne Mancini - 2003

Rexanne Mancini is the mother of two daughters. She is a novelist, freelance writer and maintains an extensive yet informal parenting and family web site, Rexanne.com: http://www.rexanne.com - Visit her site for advice, award-winning Internet holiday pages and some humor to help you cope. Subscribe to her free newsletter, Rexanne's Web Review, for a monthly dose of Rexanne: http://www.rexanne.com/rwr-archives.html

In The News:

Real time parenting  Bangalore Mirror
Everyday Parenting Tips  The New Yorker
Parenting in difficult times  The Jewish Standard

Lifebooks: Every Adopted Child Needs One

Information is gold when you are adopted. Every tiny piece... Read More

Im a Mom, Shes a Mom: Being an Adult with Your Parents

On one of her quarterly visits to see her grandson,... Read More

Discipline

Discipline is a necessary part of parenting yet it makes... Read More

What Do You Teach Your Children About Money?

Whether we realize it or not we teach our children... Read More

The Seven Keys to Child Obedience

Learning obedience is an important part of child development. This... Read More

Financially Stable Kids ? Prepared for College

We are all familiar with the stories that most students... Read More

Three Tips to Get Children with Sleeping Problems Asleep

According to the American Sleep Association 70% of all babies... Read More

Effective Troubled Teen Programs

Not all parents subscribe to the notion of "tough love,"... Read More

Banishing Bedtime Blues

"My son won't go to bed at night without a... Read More

Sanity Savers For Busy Mums Page

Question 1 "How do I get more time to play?"... Read More

Backpacks and Bullies. Is Your Child Prepared?

As the flurry of Back to School activities subside, parents... Read More

The Truth Behind Having Children

In the beginning, having children was just a byproduct of... Read More

Develop Your Childs Genius: Training Your Child for Success

This time, I would like to talk about a subject... Read More

Childrens Discipline: How To Resolve Divorce Parenting Differences?

Did you know that inconsistency on matters of discipline gives... Read More

?Mommy, I Can?t Sleep!?: Sleep Disturbance in Children

Oh Please, Don't Say Maybe!!!!Are you often a participant in... Read More

Parents - Create An Emotionally Healthy Connection With Your Child

"I could have helped you if I would have known,... Read More

Influencing Adolescents - Guided Democracy

You need to smart to be able influence adolescents. You... Read More

Healthy Eating Alone Is Not The Answer

Along with eating healthier we need to be more active.... Read More

So, My Child Has Been Recommended for Testing - What Do I Do Now?

You've just received a call from your child's teacher. As... Read More

Considering Daycare? Consider the Pros and Cons

When you're a parent it's a difficult decision to know... Read More

Strong-willed Kids: Raising a Spirited Child

Sometimes a change of perspective can make a huge difference... Read More

The Courage to Be a Loving Parent

Most of us really don't like it when someone is... Read More

ParentingYour Teenager: Dont Buy the I Dont Know and I Dont Care Attitude

"I don't know and I don't care."I've heard those words... Read More

Film Industry and Our Youth

In the first premise, some films and video tapes which... Read More

Girls Gone Mild

Voices!So many voices crying out for adherence and so many... Read More