One common misperception I see in HSC is they get confused about what a friend is…
Friends need to be nice to you. They don’t have to be perfect, but they aren’t mean to you on a regular basis. Although this sounds straightforward as an adult, I’ve worked with countless children who settle for less because they desperately want to feel liked.
Josh, age eight, told me last week: My best friend, Bo, says mean things to me. Josh is a smart and sensitive boy who has been putting up with his “friend” bullying him because he wanted to be part of the cool crowd (as his mom puts it). But when I was straight with Josh about how friends treat you nicely, he had to pause and reconsider Bo as his friend – let alone, best friend.
Helping children like Josh not only learn what a friend is, but how to be a friend and choose friends that lift them up is a game-changer. One creative way to open this discussion is through watching a TV show like Amazon Prime’s Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street (ages 7 and up), which sends positive messages about what real friendship is like. Because HS boys and girls need to see what healthy friendships look like so they too can create friendships that change their lives, for the better!