Helping Her Choose Good Friends

I hope you've enjoyed this little middle school friend series...I missed a few days because life has been FULL!! And it still is. For the next two days I'll be attending various events at my Alma Mater for Homecoming weekend, participating in a couple of alumni events...always fun.

I thought I would re-post one of the most popular posts from last year about helping girls choose (and be) good friends. I love to do this object lesson with girls, because they are the ones coming up with what's written down, not me.

So they really come to conclusions based on what they say, not what I say. (and that's always better than being told what to think, especially for teens).

Our pretend friend- this object lesson involves writing down the positive and negative traits of friendships on individual circles and gluing them on a silhouette of our fake pretend friend! (We always have to name her first!) The good traits went inside, and the negative traits went outside.

The girls think of various things that a good friend does- things like compliments, stands up for, is honest, etc. Those are written down and put inside of the silhouette.

Then they come up with traits that cause division and problems among friends- lying, insults, rumors, etc. Those go on the outside of the silhouette.
We discuss how everyone makes mistakes (and will at times do things on the outer parts!) so friends have to be open to talking through and forgiving each other. But also, if we are hanging out with a friend that does mostly negative all of the time, that sometimes we have to rethink if that is a good friendship.

Are we constantly disappointed or in conflict with a friend, or is it just occasional? Can you usually work it out together or does it just get worse?

Then the biggest question is, where do we ourselves fit? Am I mostly exhibiting the good character traits? Do I try and make the negative traits minimal? And then, where do my friends fit?

We are not judging people, but learning how to choose good relationships based on what makes healthy friendships. All make mistakes and we must learn to discuss and forgive.

But we do have a choice of who to spend large amounts of time with and who to invest our lives in.

Who we hang out with determines much of who we become!

Discussion Starter:

Draw a big circle. What's important to you in a friendship? Think about your favorite friends. Name 5 reasons why they make a good friend and write those inside of the circle.

Now try and name 5 things that girls do that make friendships difficult- traits that girls have that make you not want to be friends with them. Write those 5 negative traits outside of the circle.

As you look at your picture, where do you fit most of the time? Where do your friends fit most of the time?

Help your daughter understand that everyone makes mistakes, but hopefully the majority of our behavior, and our friends behavior, is positive.

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