How to foster your kids' friendships
Making Friends: Part Three
Here’s the rub…making friends is hard. As we talked about in Making Friends: Part One and Making Friends Part Two of this series.
Location+ and twenty more things lead to friendship.
And it’s hard to foster the friendships of our kids. Why? Well in part it is our self-sufficiency culture. In part, it is the rise of screen-time babysitting and online gaming. As well as the increase in double-income families, and all the activities our kids are involved in.
None of these is bad, but when stacked on top of each other, the opportunities to foster friendship with our kids get more complicated.
The Better Together Devotional by Rachel K. Adams says, “busyness isn’t the only thing that can keep us from developing deep relationships. I do not doubt that the enemy is after our friendships, and he will use anything, including fear, past hurt, insecurity, comparison, independence, and laziness to keep us isolated.”
Friendships build communities and communities support and foster the health of the individuals and the group as a whole. All are things God desires for our good, so you guessed it Satan wants to separate and destroy every good thing God has given us.
So how do we foster friendships among our kids?
Be involved in your Local Church- getting plugged in at a church is the first step to developing the types of friendships we’ve discussed in the last couple of weeks. Finding people that hold a similar worldview is the start of a good friendship.
Volunteer in your child’s classroom. Be present in the places where your kids spend the most time. See who they eat lunch with. Make note of who they talk about the most and seek to reach out to those parents.
One year I even made a Playdate card that I kept in my bags. Almost like a business card for moms. My husband thought I was crazy, but every mom I handed one to thought it was clever.
Set up play groups. Make a commitment to head to the park on a particular day or days and put out a blanket statement to whoever is in your children’s classrooms at Preschool or in their homeroom class.
The hardest one for me is to say yes when my kids want to host an event. As an introvert, hosting parties isn’t exactly how I’m geared. But when your extrovert kids want to throw a Halloween party or a movie night in your backyard, you’d be surprised how fun it is for all involved.
These are only a few of the ideas I’ve come up with over the years. Even if you check all these boxes there are no guarantees with friendships. But one thing I have learned and proven to be true time and time again is that at the beginning of any relationship, quantity leads to quality.
The more time you spend with a friend of your own or with the parents of a friend of your child the more memories you will make. Memories are the fertile grown for a friendship to grow.
How do you foster friendships in your home?