Helping Your Student With FriendshipsPosted: November 18, 2014
The beginning of the school year is a conflicting time of emotions. Students are excited to have something to do on a regular basis, but are bummed that it’s school. They’re looking forward to meeting new people and new friends. School is a great place to be, except for all the classes and homework.
It’s already November, more than likely your student has already made new friends. They might have invited them to hang out at home or brought them to church. While they’ve made new friends, it’s also possible they’ve lost a friend or two. In the past few months, they probably experienced both the happiness of new friends and the sadness of losing old friends.
Friendships Are A Double-Edged Sword
They bring fun, excitement, adventure, love, compassion, and many other positive attributes. Those things alone are reason to have a friend or two in our life. But, friendships can also bring sadness, drama, heartbreak, lack of self-worth, trouble, hate and other negative attributes.
Some might ask, “Is making friends even worth the adventure and possible heartache?” I believe relationships are totally worth the possibility of being hurt because once you find a friend that survives, it is an incredible experience.
Helen Keller said, “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
When it comes to friendships our role, as a Christian, in that relationship should be different than that of nonbelievers. God calls us to be transformative in our lifestyle, and that needs to be evident with our closest relationships.
Romans 12:18 say’s “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
It is our responsibility to foster a relationship of peace with the people around us. If they choose to break the relationship, it should not be because of us or something negative that we did.
Your Student’s Friendships
The best way to keep peace is for them to start with the right friendships. There are some people, who are not the best match for your student and family. Growing up, I had a couple of friends that always got me in trouble. Whether it was shoplifting, lying to parents, smoking or underaged drinking. The friends didn’t make do any of those things, but being around them made doing those things a viable option.
Maybe your student has a friend that causes similar problems or maybe they have a friend that makes them have a bad attitude or unnecessary drama. There are just some people you would prefer to have your children not left alone with. That is why it’s important to teach your student what values to look for in a person. The more values they share in a relationship; the more peace will be in their life.
Another thing for your student to learn is about healthy boundaries by learning and using the word “No.” Isn’t it amazing our students can tell us “no” on a regular basis, but when it comes to their peers, it is rarely used? Helping your student in making healthy decisions is critical for them to learn how to stay away from bad relationships and the bad decisions that may result from those friendships.
Finally, as a parent we can’t protect our child from every person they meet. They will be hurt by someone at some time in their life. Knowing this, we need to make sure we are available for them to express their anger and frustration. You’re relationship, and God’s relationship with them should be a consistent place of love, grace and mercy.