When words hurt

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.

Be A Friend

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, one of the points was to place the focus on being a friend. There are a couple of Jewish Proverbs that can help us and the kids understand the importance our role as a friend.

“Iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” ~Proverbs 27:17. Being a friend includes adding to the relationship. Just like iron tools are sharpened by using another iron piece to file it, friends do the same to each other. We have influence over each other. We all can remember our parents not approving of a new friend. Why were our parents not in approval? Most likely, that “friend” wasn’t a positive influence for us. For some of us, we were the ones that didn’t make the “Approved Friends” list by the parents. Being a friend means that we are that positive influence who will support, promote, and even challenge our friends.

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” ~Proverbs 17:17. A true friendship is one that is tested. It is easy to be loyal during good times. A loyal friend sticks around during the trials. Being a true friend can mean being inconvenienced because there’s never a “good time” to help out a friend. “Help” can mean a lot of things, but being there for your friend in time of need is what will make the friendship last.

Being a friend also helps us define who our true friends are or at least what true friendship looks like. Will the friendship be 50/50? No. The best friendships are 100/100. The best friendships are when the friends are all in. It’s not about having a perfect friend because there’s no such thing. Furthermore, there is no way we can be the perfect friend, but we can be a positive influence and we can be loyal. That’s how we should guide our children in their relationships as well.

I think I should keep this thought stream on friends going. What is your insight on relationships? Comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Teaching your children about friendships

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” ~Helen Keller

Teaching your children about friendships can be difficult because many of us adults are still trying to figure that part out. I have 3 brief thoughts to get the conversation going, even if it is in my own head.

No one is perfect. No one is perfect except Jesus. Everyone has faults and blind spots in their character. Everyone has a personality traits that can be charming and irritating at the same time… or just irritating. Which brings me to the next thought.

Friends will fail you. They will. No one bats 1.000. All-Stars in baseball bat a bit over .300. That sounds about the right number in friendship. Friends will every now and then make a decision that won’t go your way, like playing with someone else at recess. Show your children their worth. When they know that they are God’s gift it will help them create those boundaries for themselves and how they look at others.

Focus on being a friend. Instead of focusing on what can your child can get out of the relationship and screening classmates and neighbors for the perfect friend, help your child focus on being a friend.

I’ll post part 2 later on in the week. What are your thoughts?

Sharing Hot Wheels

I showed my buddy, Mike my latest Hot Wheels find after I shot this (yes, I buy Hot Wheels.) When Mike said that it was the coolest Hot Wheels that he had seen in a while, I gave it to him. He responded with bear hug tight enough to make a bear pass out. When my 10-year old daughter saw this picture on my phone she asked where was that Hot Wheel, and I told her that I gave it to my friend. After a thoughtful pause, she grinned and asked, “You gave a grown-up a toy?” I had a similar thoughtful pause, smiled back and responded, “Yes, I did.” Maybe, I should do that more often. I could be like one of Santa’s little brown elves handing out toys to grown ups. “Sharing is caring” is what we tell the kiddos. There’s no age limit to that saying. Don’t you agree? Make it a great weekend everyone!