An experience I had recently reminded me how important it is to have the support of good friends. Our friends can lift us up and put us back together when we need to be – both practically and emotionally. In some circumstances, it may be difficult to do this by yourself so a good friend by your side is invaluable.
As adults we need this sometimes but we may look in the wrong places and reaching out to the wrong people. We may think they can help us but not everyone provides the support and encouragement we are looking for, or can empathise with what you’re going through. We need to know who the right people are to turn to for support, so that we get what we need to hear at that time.
Finding Supportive Friends
Children need to learn the same thing as adults Who should they go to when they are stuck with a problem? When they feel unhappy? When they feel disappointment? When something does not go well or right? Are feeling emotional and need cheering up? Who will be able to see things from their point of view and support them no matter what? Who is in their corner?
They may have a friend that is great fun but who is not so great at being supportive. There is no use them approaching another child who is not able to say the right things as it will only make them feel worse. Saying something like ‘it will be okay’ sometimes is not enough. They need friends who can listen, not judge but understand their feelings. Feelings are big and cannot be dismissed and sometimes it can take a little longer to shift those feelings.
Help your child identify who these friends are so that they are supported and can get through their situation feeling better about themselves and ready to enjoy life again. If none of their current friends fit the bill, think about other acquaintances that may have these qualities. Encourage your child to get to know them better and turn acquaintances into friendship.
Friendships can be so important, so let’s make sure our child recognises their supportive friends as well as knowing how to provide support themselves. This is what really cements friendships and forges long-lasting relationships.