How to Teach Kids to Be a Friend Who Doesn’t Quit

It’s hard to be a good friend! Teach kids to be a friend who doesn’t quit with these conversation starters and tips on modeling friendship.
Teach kids to be a friend who doesn't quit with these conversation starters and tips on modeling friendship.
Having a friend means having someone to do stuff with, but even more importantly the best part of having a friend is just being together.It’s having someone to count on. It’s knowing that someone cares and that you care back.

The hard part is when there is conflict in friendships. When this happens kids might think it’s easier just to give up on their friend, to quit. It’s easy for kids to be in friendships in the good times. Harder is teaching them to be there in the bad times too. Yet this is an important life lesson: to be a friend who doesn’t quit.

We want our kids to learn to have healthy, happy friendships, and that starts when they are young. Here are four ways to do that.

4 Ways to Teach Kids to Be a Friend Who Doesn’t Quit

Be Positive About Friendships

When it comes to friendships, talk to kids about their friends in positive ways. Praise times when they treat their friends with kindness. Also, be encouraging even when your children, or their friends, make a mistake. Remind your kids that no one gets it right all the time.

Talk About What Friendship Means

Sit down with your children, and make a list of what it means to be a good friend: to be caring, trustworthy, and someone to believes the best and cheers you on. Friendship also means taking time for the other person. It’s remembering them on important days like their birthdays, Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
Sometimes friendship means you have lots of time together, other times it means you spend less time together, but you always look forward to when you can join up. Just because you don’t see someone often doesn’t mean you quit the friendship. Talk to your kids about friendships that you’ve had over the years.

Be the Example

First of all, Kids learn how to be a friend by watching us. How do we treat our friends when we are with them and when we are apart? If you are going through a conflict with a friend, talk to your kids (in simple terms) about how you’re trying to work through that conflict and why it’s important that you do. Sometimes friendship means finding common ground. Remind your child that you don’t quit on a friend just because you have conflict.

Talk About Forgiveness

Here are some simple ways to talk about forgiveness when you do have conflict with friends:

1. Friendship means asking for forgiveness. And sometimes it means offering forgiveness. Remind your child that there are times their friend will make a mistake, but there will be times when they do too.

2. Friendship means talking about misunderstandings. It is hard to talk about conflict and disagreements, but the alternative is even worse: losing that friend. Don’t be afraid to tell your friend you side, but listen as they tell theirs.

3. Friendship means looking at a problem from two sides. If your child has a misunderstanding with a friend, ask, “How do you see the problem?” Then ask, “How do you think your friend sees them problem?”

4. Friendship means take steps toward making up. Talk through ways that your child might approach a friend. Be encouraging about the results. “Just think how good it will feel if you both have a chance to talk about this. I know I always feel better when I talk with a friend when we have a problem between us.”

I am so thankful for the friends I’ve had over the years. I’m thankful that I didn’t give up, didn’t quit. I’m thankful when I’ve given forgiveness and when I’ve accepted it. I’m sure you feel the same, and hopefully these ideas will teach your kids not to quit, too!

Teach your youngest children what it means to be a friend who doesn’t quit with Finding Gobi for Little Ones. Bring home the incredible true story of a friendship so strong that it crossed the globe! Families everywhere will be delighted by the tale of Gobi and Dion—a little lost dog and the ultramarathon runner who saved her. Finding Gobi for Little Ones: The Race for Home is a fun, engaging board book perfect for families to enjoy together.

It's hard to be a good friend! Teach kids to be a friend who doesn't quit with these conversation starters and tips on modeling friendship.

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of ten, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published more than fifty books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.

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About Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of ten, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published more than fifty books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.