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1 September 2021

The importance of friendship

  • From the Junior School

Friends, buddies and pals. Whatever you like to call it, friends are an important part of our children’s lives. Friends play with us, listen to our stories, help us be ourselves and feel valued as individuals. Even though friendships look different from age to age and change over time, it is one of those constant things that remain important to our children throughout their school career.

I asked a few learners in our Junior School what they thought it means to be a good friend.

Maddie, Year 1 - “Friendship is people being kind to you and a friend is someone you play with.”
Thomas, Year 1 - “I love my friend because we can play soccer together.”
Hannah, Year 2 - “Friendship means to always put yourself in your friends’ shoes and to treat someone else like you would want to be treated.”
Isaiah, Year 2 - “Friendship means caring; playing with someone who doesn’t have a friend and taking someone to first aid, even if you’re not friends.”
Sarah, Year 5/6 - “Friendship is having someone to talk to when you’re sad or need help. They are reliable people you can depend on.”
Jesse, Year 5/6 - “Friendship is having people who are kind to you.”

As much as we love our friends, friendship can be tricky at times. As teachers and parents, we encourage our children to form healthy friendships and often advocate for ‘being a good friend’. But what does that mean? This is where children need help and guidance navigating this important aspect of their lives. Thankfully we are able to provide that support!

In Proverbs 17:17a, God says “A friend loves at all times”. This is really hard to do sometimes and we have the opportunity to support and encourage our children to do this.

Here are a few things you might like to consider and think about when trying to support children form and maintain healthy friendships:

  • Remind your child that the first step in finding good friends is to be a good friend. Talk about how we can show kindness, be friendly with our words and actions and be ready to listen to others, showing that we take an interest in what they have to say. Ultimately, when we are a good friend, we reflect the image of God to others.
  • Pray for your child to build strong, healthy friendships. Pray that God would be able to help our children show grace when needed and be happy within their friendship circles.
  • Encourage your child to grow in the fruits of the spirit so that goodness, faithfulness, love, self-control, peace and joy can abound in their lives and social groups.
  • Think about the examples we set for our children. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “There is nothing more confusing than a person who gives good advice but sets a bad example”.

More often than not, our children look to our actions and example to model after. We should pray that the Lord would bless and use our example for his good and for the good of our children’s friendships.

We are so privileged to be God’s vessels in assisting our children to build, grow and develop strong and healthy friendships. What an incredible opportunity – may we prayerfully endeavour to help our children in this very important part of life so that they can go on to witness and show God’s love, having much joy, laughter and fun along the way.

Morgan Venter
F-2 Wellbeing and Administration Coordinator