How to teach your teenager to be a good friend?
Friendship is an integral part of our lives for most of us. Friendship takes work, just like any other relationship and it is very important that we give our teenagers the ways to find good friends and be good friends themselves.
But as we all know that no relationship is perfect. Apart from having fun, laughter, support, care that comes from friends, there are times where we have encountered conflicts, hurt feelings, ego, anger, sadness. Being with someone during the times of trials and testing describes how good a friend, he is.
Here’s how to start:
Self-esteem: Good friends are those who are already confident about themselves, instead of not depending on others for satisfying emotional needs. Work on your teen’s self-worth and happiness, this will lead to set them up to be a good friend.
Model to be a good friend: Teenager is very observant to what we do or say, so if they see you reaching out to friends to check in, surrounding yourself with positive people, supporting each other, the teenager is likely to do the same.
Teach them the qualities that make a good friend: Qualities like trustworthiness, helping nature, empathy, being a good listener are probably the things which make a good friend. And these things are the ones which you already talk to your teenager about. Keep up those lessons at home, so that they put it into action with the rest of the world.
Teach them to recognize their special qualities:
Teach, teen, to find out the unique gifts in others as well as themselves. Because not everyone has the same qualities and recognizing them and respecting those differences makes them a good friend. By talking about the best qualities in her, she will be able to appreciate those similar qualities in others. At the same time teach them to value
Teach about expectations: One of the greatest lessons that you teach your teen is that they should appreciate what a friend offers to them rather than expecting more in return. If one teen loves to play in the park and the other at home with video games, they should not expect the same interest in others.
Tell what a bad friend is: By talking what a bad friend does or says can help your teen not to be one of them. Tell them the doings of bad friends- like making fun of others, backbiting, ignoring the loved ones, not listening, etc can help them to identify who a good or a bad friend is and not to tolerate such behavior.
Teach them to solve conflicts: Teach your teen as to how to make up after a fight or an argument, because friends always don’t agree or get along. Accepting our own mistake by keeping our ego aside and apologizing to each other can help them to be a good friend.
Popularity and friendship: Teach your teen the difference between popularity and friendship. Friendship is not about how many friends do you have or how well known you are in your peer group, this applies especially for youngsters. But tell them that friendship is all about having a few friends, who share a deep bond between each other and are there for each other during hardships.
Teach social skills: Appropriate social behavior isn’t innate. Teach them how to have polite conversations with everybody. Give them the guidance to have self-control at those situations, where they lose their temper and act rude to people
Use books as a tool:
While teaching your teen about friendship, read stories to your teen and explain as to how the characters in the story are fulfilling their responsibilities as a friend. This will encourage the teen to instill those values in their real life. Now it is time for dad and mom to inculcate these values into your teen and make sure that your teenager is a positive part of that truth in the lives of others.
Developing friendship skills in your teenager can be full of fun. So, practice and enjoy yourself with your teenager. Friendship will follow