Teaching your children about friendship may not be easy for many parents. There are many adults who deal with the ups and downs of relationships themselves; let alone helping their own children with their friends.
In my last post, the focus was to show your child how to approach the relationship with the perspective of being a friend. There is no friendship without disagreements and even disappointments. Truth be told- there will be friends that are only for a season. There will be friends that move away. There will be friends who will not be willing to journey through the valleys of the relationship. The ones who hang around can have their “mean” moments, and sticks and stones do break bones and words will hurt the heart as well.
Here is another Jewish Proverb that addresses the power of words and friendship. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” We need to help our children recognize the difference between a malicious comment with intent to harm from a comment that is purposed to move a friendship in a healthy direction.
In this hyper-sensitive culture we live in today that defines a different opinion as offensive, we need to make it clear to our children that contrary opinion or correction (even from a peer) can bring life to a heart or situation. The “wounds” of a friend do hurt. However, if the wound-er is sincere in the attempt to help then isn’t he or she a being a true friend?
Even the youngest of children can bring health to a relationship and even correct their peers when it’s modeled to them. We all have boundaries to guard our hearts and people, including friends, will cross them all of the time. What if a friend crosses the line all the time? That sets up the topic for next time. Any thoughts about boundaries? Your comments are appreciated.