We all grow up to be adults. So many things that we do as adults have to be taught. Being a good friend is one of those skills that need to be taught to children. Left on their own, kids are very selfish. The ever annoying Mine! No! Don’t touch and the pushing just come out without instruction. So what does a mom need to teach her kids about being a good friend?
I am deliberate in having several playdates. The best one has a few kids from church that come over weekly. These parents are like me in the fact that they are working to have their kids share and be kind and to love the Lord. This is the best group for us to be in. As well, we invite other kids over from time to time. Before these playdates, I get the chance to remind the boys that friends are coming over, they need to share the toys and include them in their play. I do have to step in and ensure that the boys are doing just that while playing. Those little reminders over time will help to form the type of friendships in the future. I’m fortunate to have had twins. Every day is a playdate for them because they always have their brother around. Every day we have moments were they steal toys, push and shove, bite, hug and help when the other gets hurt. I don’t spend a ton of time talking to the boys. As I’ve learned in Wild Things, boys need clear, straight forward and short instructions. I struggle as a girl to keep my words to minimum but I’m trying to make things easier for my boys. I know that these short but frequent moments of training can make a difference. I also know that this training in friendship and being kind will be a life long lesson.
I’ve taken a fun craft that I love and made it into a teaching experience about being a friend. I’m just crazy over making cards. Just ask my best friend, we both share this love together. So yesterday while my boys were sick and not very active I pulled out the stuff for making a simple Christmas card. I handed the boys red & green dot markers and let them at a plain white sheet of paper. Sigh, their first stamping experience. Then I cut out the tree from the stamped pages. I helped each boy use a glue stick to tack down the three pieces of paper together. Then I wrote on the back “Merry Christmas.” I helped the boys sign their names to the back. They put the cards into envelopes. I reminded the boys that we were sending their friends a christmas card and that this is one thing that you can do to tell your friends that you care about them. Then we set down and I added my Christmas cards to the stack and we all put stamps on the envelopes. I decided after a few misplaced stamps that I would put the stamps in the corner and the boys could press them down. They had so much fun picking up the envelopes, pressing and putting them aside, well I had to coax Lance into putting them aside because he thought the stamps were stickers that he could put on & peel off. Then after a nap, we took all the envelopes out to the mailbox so the mailman could deliver them. I asked the boys to think about how excited their friends would be when they got something special just for them in the mail. I showed the boys how many people mommy & daddy were sending cards to and how many people would feel loved by those cards. I know my boys are young. They don’t comprehend everything, but each little thing that I can turn into a teaching moment, I’m helping them to become a better friend and showing them how to demonstrate kindness to others. I’m reminded today that God has given me some good friends and I consider them God’s blessings & mercies to me.