May 11, 2016


 Friendships for children and adults are vital for our well-being.The way we model those relationships are an important part of great/grandparenting.  We know from our own experience that without our friends, we might be lost, unhappy and downright miserable.  They help us keep our balance, make us more thoughtful and give us encouragement when we need it.  They also can help us see when we are off-base and in need of some corrections.

So, children also need friends that can support them, as well as make them laugh, be happy and playful.  Children do not always come to this easily.  As adults, we (at least we hope) do not put up with bullying or taking advantage of someone less fortunate than we are.

But too often children may be bullied or be a bully with other children,
because they have poor models:  the popular girl that makes fun of another child who is a threat to her being or the boy that makes fun of a child that cannot run as fast as he can, or kick the ball as far as he can.  These children may be considered desirable "friends" because they seem to be enjoying their popularity or skills.  But it is important for children to see beyond these traits.

Our adult friends may not be perfect in every way, but we hope that we can see beyond the outer beings and be grateful for their inner traits that are aligned with our values, hopes and dreams.  Talking to our great/grandchildren about how Jack has been a good friend because he is goes out of his way to help, when we need him.  Molly is a "gem" because she listens to our problems and will sympathize when we need that sympathy; or will suggest ways to solve them; or will tell us when we off base. 

It is not the good-looks or the superior skills that count it's being able to share the good and the bad with someone you trust that makes the difference.  Pointing this out to our children's children, as we struggle through every day to make their lives better, is what really counts.