Circle of Friends
I am so grateful for my friends. I feel so blessed to have each and every single one of them in my life. When you have children, your friends become one of the most valuable things you have. I am not dismissing family at all. Family is important too, but you don’t pick family. They are simply yours and you are required to keep them. We have lucked out with a wonderful family, yet there are plenty of people I know who wisely keep a good distance from theirs. We have an option as adults to form our own sort of family of friends.
You may not have noticed how monumental your relationships with your friends are to your kids. My kids are always watching my husband and I. They know our friends, and what kind of people they are. Our kids see how we interact with our friends and they try to model that behavior. I think that it is an important thing to pay attention to. Are your friends setting a good example for your kids?
It is something to consider. When my kids go out into the world on their own, I want for them to know how to make good quality friends in their lives who will help to hold them up. I want for them to seek out quality relationships with people who are going to enrich their experiences and offer them unconditional love. That’s what true friendship really is, and it’s not too much to expect. I need to teach my kids that they deserve to have those kinds of friendships in their lives.
My kids have no trouble making friends, never have. It’s that weird thing about homeschooled children. I have never met one in my life who couldn’t walk straight up to a stranger and ask if they wanted to play. I know that they are not going to have all of the bad friendships that I did as a kid. So I want to make sure that I make them aware that there are people out there who will seek out their friendship for the wrong reasons. They aren’t going to get the crash course that most of us got in middle school, and I am glad for that. I know how much more important it is though, that I set a good example for them with the friends that I choose to make.
It’s not always easy. We had a couple of very young friends a couple of years ago. They were in their early twenties, and he was a brilliant musician. They were very good people, kind and good with our children. They went trick-or-treating with us on Halloween, and our children were really fond of them. We had to tell them that they couldn’t come over any more when we found out that they had been having domestic incidents. It wasn’t anything that we ever saw. None of that behavior was ever exhibited in front of my children. Yet still, I felt it was irresponsible of me to expose my kids to people who got the cops called to their door because their arguments were out of control.
I know how much I am going to depend on my friends in a few years when my kids transform into teenagers. It takes a village, right? I honestly have very few friends who I wouldn’t trust to give my kids advice when they needed someone to talk to. I have great hopes that my kids will go to our friends when they are angry with my husband and I, or too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to us about something. I do my best to surround my kids with a network of loyal and loving friends, and I am endlessly grateful to them for the friendship that they offer.