Parents: 4 Signs of True Friendship for your Daughter

4 Signs of True Friendship

Several years ago my husband joined a gym. He soon met two people that he really seemed to connect with. He and Rodney would go out to lunch, help each other out with household projects, go boating, and just generally have fun together. Angel, on the other hand, was a different story. While Angel served as a great workout buddy for my husband at the gym because she liked to talk and it helped him pass the time on the Stairmaster, he soon found himself getting called on to help her fix her toilet or her sink or paint her house. You see where I’m going with this? After “babysitting” Angel’s Jack Russell Terrier two weekends in a row, I finally put my foot down. So the next weekend when Angel asked yet again if we could babysit her dog, my husband told her no. After a few times of telling her no, Angel stopped calling and stopped showing up at the gym. My husband felt used. Why? Because Angel was never really his friend.

We all know people like Angel. “Friends” that take, but never give. And while it might take us awhile, we eventually move on and break ties with people that just want to use us. But what about our kids?  In the turbulence of pre-adolescence, most kids just want people to like them. They may not easily recognize when someone is truly their friend or just a “user.”

So how do we help them with this issue? Here are 4 ways to help your daughter find out if someone is truly her friend:

1)    They seem to genuinely care about your daughter – they listen to her, do nice things for her, respect her, etc.

2)    They have never betrayed your daughter – if she has come home crying over this friend, that’s a red flag, especially if this friend didn’t apologize for hurting her feelings

3)    They make time for your daughter – is this a “friend” that only wants to get together so your daughter can help with their math homework, or is this a friend that calls to talk or invites her to the mall or a sleepover?

4)    Your daughter seems to truly enjoy spending time with this friend – is she happy after they’ve hung out together? Or does she seem tired or drained?

Need more advice? Check out these websites:

http://www.parentingscience.com/friendship-in-children.html

http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/do_kids_need_friends

http://www.essentialkids.com.au/younger-kids/kids-development/children-and-friendships-20090415-a6l8.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/child_development/primary_friends.shtml

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/growing-friendships/201202/childrens-growing-friendships

Stayed tuned for next week’s topic: Combating Media Influence

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