Navigating the world of friendships with your child them great or not so great, are ever evolving and changing. Over the course of our lives, we experience friendships of many wonders and beauties. They bring us life lessons that we carry with us and learn from as we travel from place to place.

As adults, we have the ability to reflect upon our childhood, and recognise these lessons. But think back to when you were actually in that moment. When you were 10, 11, 12, 13 years of age. How difficult it was it to navigate through those lessons whilst you were experiencing them?

Children, and even teens, need support from the trusted adults in their lives to help them understand how to gain positive lessons from their friendships. And yes, that even means the tough lessons they are going to experience too. Everything we face in life brings with it a lesson to be learnt. And teaching this concept to your child is vital.

So what can you do to help your child navigate through the world of their friendships?

Firstly, keeping the lines of communication open between you are vital. Our words are powerful! Educate them with your words of wisdom and positive praises. Doing this will remind them that they are loved and cherished. It will confirm to them that they are valued. It will also help them find, and feel the good within themselves again.

Secondly, be all ears! Actively listening to them when they tap you on the shoulder is important. This means that you give them your full attention, and you give it to them completely, without being distracted. When your child speaks to you, they want to feel as though they are being listened to, not just heard. They want to know that what they are saying to you is just as important to you as it is to them. So be sure to give them your undivided attention.

Thirdly, show genuine interest. Be caring, sympathetic, and empathetic towards their situation and their feelings. This would be a good time to share some of your own experiences with them, to highlight the fact that they are not alone. This will also eliminate the sense of isolation that can often be brought forward in friendship break-up's.

And finally, be solution focused with your child. As they are the one's who are experiencing the lessons to be learnt, their understanding and clarity to find the positives and solutions will be clouded. Guide, support and nurture them by being their voice of reason. Help them to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and remind them that they are strong enough to keep their heads held high, and to keep moving forward.



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