What would you do if your daughter came home one day and said someone at school was annoying them?
Like most parents, you’d immediately get defensive. After all, no one is going to bully your child!
Then you dig a little deeper. As it turns out, the kid who’s “annoying” your daughter is doing no more than following her during recess and sitting at her table during lunch.
This “annoying” kid is no bully. She’s simply looking for a friend–in your daughter.
As a parent, how should you handle a situation like this? Read on for how to give helpful, Bible-based friendship advice to your child.
What’s the Problem?
To begin with, what’s wrong with your daughter’s reaction?
Since she’s not mistreating the other girl, your daughter may reason that there’s nothing wrong with her behavior. She may feel that since she’s not being unkind, she’s being nice.
But is this really the case? How can you help her to reason on this?
This is the time to have a frank conversation about what motivates us to accept some people as friends—and reject others. This happens at every age and at every stage of life, regardless of race, creed, or religion.
Our behavior towards others is often based on our own fear of rejection. It may also reveal a lack of self-confidence.
What Should You Do?
Now that you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to give your daughter some valuable friendship advice.
Encourage her not to be stingy with her affections. Give her the goal of learning three things about her future friend. She may discover they have much more in common than she would have thought.
Here are three golden gems of friendship advice to pass on to your children:
- Our initial reactions to new people aren’t always correct.
- We can be friends with the least likely people, and the best friendships often develop from those we least expect.
- It pays to be generous and invest in our friendships because the rewards are endless.
However, the Bible warns us to be choosy about friends Proverbs 1:10-19 and Proverbs 4:14-19. We are not to associate with anyone who entices us to sin or do wring, no matter how appealing their “friendship” might be.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” – Proverbs 13:20
So it makes sense we want our kids to hang out with Godly parents that raise Godly kids so they can have a deeper desire for Jesus.
We’re known as the “helicopter parent” generation. We obsess over every single thing our kids do, from science fair projects to a gluten-free diet.
Doesn’t it make sense to invest just as much—or even more—time in our children’s eternity?
To that end, help your kids choose the right type of friends. It’s a skill they’ll never outgrow.
The Bible Provides Solid Friendship Advice
We all want the best for our children.
As Christians, we know the best possible advice is found in God’s Word. And it’s our responsibility as parents to pass on that valuable knowledge to our children.
“If we train up our children in the way they should go, when they grow old they will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
Remember those important words as you teach your daughter to be a true friend to others. It’s a lesson she’ll treasure for the rest of her life.
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