Friends are vital to children’s emotional and social development. Through friendships, kids learn to share, set boundaries, make decisions, and respect others. Having friends also makes children feel supported, which boosts their self-esteem.
With a new school year right around the corner, many children are thinking about reuniting with classmates and friends. But fears about bullies may also exist. No child is immune to mistreatment by peers. Here are some ways to help kids develop love, respect, and kindness toward one another while maintaining a healthy sense of self:Love each other.
Help children make the connection between how Jesus loves and cares for us and how he wants us to love and care for one another. Make the Golden Rule a top priority in your home: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you,”
- Matthew 7:12.Agree to disagree.
Children need to hear and learn that it’s okay to disagree with others because God made us all different. But it’s never okay to hurt someone with our words or actions.Everyone’s important.
Help children find the acceptance and recognition they seek by focusing on activities and behavior standards that are positive, fun, and rewarding. Guiding kids toward loving themselves is key to helping them love other people.
What are some ways that have worked well for you and your family to help your kids with and in their friendships?