Good friendships are one of the best gifts we can have in life. Throughout life, we make great memories and enjoy time spent with our friends. Friends are a large part of a teenager or child’s life. This is especially true when going through puberty and emotions are running high. It is important that as your son grows, he learns to properly appreciate his friends and those around him. This will ensure that he develops good habits that he can carry with him through life.
Here are four ways to teach your son to appreciate his friends.
1. Model appreciation with your own friends
So much of a boy’s learning comes from watching his parents. When you are around your own friends, how do you act? How do you speak about your friends when they aren’t around you? Your son will notice if you complain about your own friends in front of him, but then act differently when you’re around them. As parents, you set the baseline for what is acceptable behaviour.
2. Highlight when they do good things for him
Pointing out to your son when his friends are kind to him will help him to see the positive things they do for him. As an adult you have more experience in different social interctions and may possibly see things that he doesn’t notice. When his friends are helpful and kind he will definitely appreciate them more, which will in turn encourage him to be kind in return, strengthening their friendship.
3. Teach him sympathy
Helping your son feel sympathetic to a friend will help him to not only be a good friend but also to appreciate their situation. Asking questions like, “What would it feel like to be in your friend’s position?” and “What difficulties is your friend going through?”, will help your son better understand their friend’s perspective and appreciate their situation.
4. Reward friendly and appreciative behaviour
Rewarding good behaviour is an obvious but effective method for encouraging results. When your son is kind to a friend or shows appreciative behaviour, use positive reinforcement to encourage the behaviour to continue. If you support your son when he shows appreciation to his friends he will better understand the importance of doing so.
The Bible offers the very simple, but perhaps best way, to approach friendships, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31).
Our mission at Trinity Grammar School is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning. We actively encourage our students to grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man, in order that they may become responsible, contributing members of society.
Trinity’s Pastoral Care guidelines focus on the fundamentals of good parenting — providing both care and discipline — enabling them to grow into self-confident, resilient young men. Combined with on-going partnership between the School and home, your son will thrive in a consistent, caring and nurturing environment.
To learn more about the Trinity difference and how we guide boys to realise their potential, passions and purpose in life, register for our upcoming Open Day.