Friends are an important part of childhood and you want to make sure that your child develops good friendships early on. It’s easiest to help them make the best choices for your children while they are young.
Have your children invite their friends to play at your house. This gives you a chance to see how they play together and how they interact with other members of your family. Become acquainted with their parents also, and you will find that this will help you understand their family situation. Help your child to understand what your values are and to recognize the same values in friends that they make.
Teach your kids values that are important to you, like being honest, and make sure they understand that it applies to friends too. I had a daughter who came to me because a friend wanted her to lie to me about going to the mall. She told me what she really wanted to do, and what her friend thought she should say. After her friend went home that day, we talked about what makes a good friend. She decided that she didn’t want a friend that was going to try to get her to lie.
Realize that all children are different. You might have a child that has fifteen friends and makes new friends easily. Then you might have another child who only has one or two friends, but has a closer friendship with them. Recognize what works for your child and help them develop the relationships that fit with their own personality.
Helping your child understand how to be a good friend will help them recognize good friends also. It is so much easier to influence your children while they are young. Take advantage of these opportunities while you can.