Raising Girls: Finding Positive Friends
Types of Girlfriends
Explain to your daughter that girlfriends come in many different forms, from casual to close ones, and that it is best to have one or several in each group. Life for a growing girl is filled with enormous possibilities, so she should not limit herself to just one relationship with one girl. She should be sure her circle includes many different girls. Here are a few types of good friends:
- Study buddies. These girls are in her classes; they are motivated and, like your daughter, want to excel in scholastics.
- Good friends. These are girls your daughter is comfortable with; they make her life more fun. They can be old friends she re-connects with, or new friends she meets now.
- Best buds. This is usually one girl, or two, who is a close, reliable, and unwavering friend she can talk to about everything.
- Soul pals. These are girls with whom your daughter can form a forever friendship because they think and feel alike, almost like twins. Now matter how much they grow and change, their connection stays the same. A soul pal may even be the girl herself, to herself.
Assuming your daughter is ready to make more friends, point out where she can best find some.
Girlfriend Meeting Places
Where your daughter meets new friends is important because the places are often an indicator as to what kinds of friends she will find there. Although she might meet new girlfriends anywhere, she can increase her chances by looking around the school library, the computer lab, or where girls usually hang out to study. Also by being an active participant in clubs and extracurricular activities, or in youth groups in the community, she can scout out more potential friends.
The more you find fault with your daughter's friends, the more she might feel she has to defend them. The same goes with the groups you may find your daughter beginning to cultivate. Forbidding her to associate with certain peers may do the exact opposite of what you want: It may cause your daughter to find them more appealing.
By watching you, your daughter has already learned the friendship basics. But it will not hurt for you to remind her of the most important friend-keeping strategies:
- Being trustworthy and not telling her friends' secrets unless they are in danger or need help.
- Not being envious or jealous, and remaining good friends even when the going gets tough.
- Sharing some of her failures, as well as her successes, to bond better.
You, the parent, have a lot of influence on your daughter's friend-making skills. You can make your house a place where your girl and her friends want to hang out by providing plenty of soft drinks, snacks, and appropriate movies. You can encourage her to bring her girlfriends home, but do not critique them harshly.
You can also be a good listener when your girl complains about her friends or about being excluded from something they do. Listen to her with all your attention and tell her that her friendship dilemmas will diminish the older she gets.
More on: Parent/Child Relationships
From The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising Girls Copyright © 2007, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.
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