Teaching your daughters to be good friends to others (and to each other) is something you do not want to skip. Start as early as possible to create a solid foundation they will use for the rest of their lives. Review the following tips to get started!
Don’t Stir The Pot
Encourage your daughters not to be the ones in their social groups who cause drama. It occurs in every clique, male or female, and it’s rarely a good thing. Emphasize that drama is really about bringing attention to yourself, and is frequently based on sketchy information, hyper-emotions, and a whole lot of other dumb stuff. Talk about how drama is toxic, and comes from the well labeled ‘Serious Insecurities.’ You want your daughters to walk away from drama, not be the source.
Forgive, Forgive, Forgive
Teach your daughters to forgive freely. Learning to let things go is something they will cherish and thank you for throughout the rest of the lives. Talk about the saying “Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die,” and that anyone who says mean things about them or tries to do them other harm is a sad, insecure individual. Teach compassion and forgiveness for such people rather than trying to “get back” at them or otherwise make them feel worse. They already feel bad enough.
Point Out Strengths, Not Weaknesses
Discuss the importance of pointing out strengths in others instead of weaknesses. Everyone has insecurities they struggle with, so why would you ever shed more light on them? Teach your daughters to celebrate their friends’ hidden talents and accomplishments, and to cheer them on as much as possible. Support their friends when they make sports teams or are starring in the school musical. After all, just because their friends succeed doesn’t mean they fail!
Encourage your daughters to really and truly listen to their friends. Don’t zone out when they’re talking, and offer constructive feedback if they ask for it. How you say something is just as important as what you’re saying–if a friend needs to hear something she probably isn’t going to like, teach your daughters to find a way to break it gently. Making a comment that’s dripping with sarcasm or disdain is not the answer..
Emphasize the importance of sticking up for friends if others are putting them down. Laughing along with bullies or not saying anything are hardly examples of good friendship. Talk about how when you really care about someone, you want to help and protect them.
These are just some of the ways to teach your daughters about the value of friendship! Have the above tips inspired you? Share your ideas in the comments!