I am thoroughly enjoying our summer vacation and the girls time home, taking a break from school and just the busyness of life that the school year can entail. Summer doesn't come with perfect days and awesomely well behaved kids, but it is a time for regrouping and refocusing. Family time. Fostering relationships that are healthy. Limiting those friendships that are not quite as healthy or the greatest influence in my children's lives.
My girls really do a great job of choosing friends wisely and being kind for the most part. I am finding a good way to see what sort of friends I really value for my kids are those that bring out the child in my children. Kids are kids for such a short time and nowadays growing up far too fast. They have the whole rest of their lives to be "big". Now is the time to be kids, let loose, have fun and be free without a care in the world. I really like those friends who don't get annoyed of the "little sister". I like my kids to be around kids that everyone can be friends with. Let everyone benefit from their company. Why can't everyone get along? Why can't we all play?
I am finding it more with my 11 year old as she is in that "tween" age.
I love kids. Kids are funny. Kids are always welcome at our house. Of course there are some kids that if they want to play with mine, just must play at only our house. Where I am. Where this mama hen can oversee. Nothing against the child. Nothing against the parents. But I am an observant mom and a very nosy mom, and if I find anything fishy or in question I may need to reel in my reins a little tighter. Sometimes even if just that maternal instinct kicks in. I am learning to pray more about my kids' friendships and ask for wisdom in handling certain ones. I would never want a child to be hurt. And I will never know what goes on at everyone's home. So 'what is the best way to love this child/friend?' is a question I find myself asking God. Because if we can be a light, a haven, an example in any way, I want to do that. While so extremely far from perfect we are, I want to do what is best for my own kids that God has entrusted into my care. It's my job to set my kids up for success.
I also have to listen to my kids. Sometimes I really want to reach out to one of their classmates or who I may think is their friend, only to find out that child is not such a nice friend. Sometimes my child may get annoyed of someone and my child may be the mean one, and you better believe if I find that out, I am on it. I told my kids, nothing they do could ever embarrass me, except "being mean or bullying another person". I can't control every friendship or area of my child's life, though sometimes I wish I could to alleviate some unnecessary heartache. But that heartache can be good for teaching moments too.
If I can tackle being observant, present, nosy, understanding & wise...maybe I won't mess my kids up too much. But more importantly, if I can cover my child in prayer and seek God's wisdom continuously we should be okay.
How do you help to foster your children's friendships?