Being an educator, I have always communicated to my students and parents the importance of monitoring all friendships. Why?
Friendships can either have a positive or a negative effect. Peers can
affect a child’s attitude on family values, relationships, school, outside
interests, and even free time.
Negative attitudes can begin as early as when the child first starts school, or is in the company of other children for a period of time. It is not until children have obtained a level of maturity will they understand the
consequences of negative influences and know how to respond to them. I have witnessed students make a complete turn in the opposite direction in school, drop their entire focus and drive, all because of the influence of a so-called friend.
Children are the product of their environment and will demonstrate and act as they have been taught. I recommend that parents discuss with their children the following:
*Friendships are important, never lose the chance to make them
*Select friends with similar goals, core values and enthusiasm for life
*Friendships should provide positive encouragement and support for not only the trying times but also for celebrating victories
*Friendships can and often will change over time
*Friendships need time to grow and develop
*Parents should get to know their child’s friends by inviting them over for family activities
“We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.” — Tim McGraw