There are so many important lessons to teach your daughter and some of the most important are about childhood friendships. Childhood friendships tend to be a bit more complicated between girls than between boys. These are some lessons to teach your daughter about childhood friendships between girls.
One of the most important lessons to teach your daughter is how to be a true friend. It is a good idea to keep a close eye on your daughter’s friendships, especially during the elementary school and middle school years. These are the years your daughter is learning how to be a friend. You want to be close by to teach her what true friends do and do not do. When she knows what a true friend is, it will hopefully raise her standards on what she expects out of a friend, too.
Cliques are an issue, especially when it comes to the middle school years. It is wonderful if your daughter can get into a good group of friends. However, when the behavior of the group becomes unkind or exclusive to others, she needs to know that’s not something to take part in. Teach her when it is time to opt out. It could be that she will set the tone for the behavior of the entire group.
You don't want to teach your children to set a goal of being popular. You want more for them than such a superficial goal. However, teaching them to be likeable will make them popular without that being something they work for. Being likeable includes traits like being friendly, kind and confident in who they are. These are traits you can also teach by modeling them yourself.
Teach your children to be friendly with everyone but teach them to choose their closest friends carefully out of that large number. Teach them what to look for in a friend. Help them to observe friends that truly care for them versus friends that have bad traits such as bossiness and rudeness. Some of these are things they will have to learn on their own, though.
Every child is unique, just like every adult. They have things about them that make them special. Teach them to cherish their individuality and encourage it. Teaching them to not go along with what everyone else is doing is a good lesson for now and later. It can really pay off when peer pressure starts.
This is a good lesson for any of us but is especially important to pass on to our daughters. It is wonderful to have a best friend as you are growing up but that one friendship shouldn’t be such a focus that your daughter turns down other opportunities of friendship. Best friends become a really big deal in the elementary school and middle school years. It is good to make sure your daughter knows she can never have too many friends. That is wisdom for all of us.
Sadly, most of our daughters will be in this situation at one time or another. We tend to think bullies are only kids that don’t like other kids. But bullies can be in a friendship, too. Those types of bullies frequently make threats such as not being your daughter’s friend anymore if she doesn’t do what they wish. We need to make sure they know what to do if they encounter this.
There are a lot of lessons about childhood friendships we need to teach our daughters but some they will have to learn on their own. What situations have you faced in your daughter’s friendships? How were you able to help her?
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