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Help Your Child Make Healthy Relationship

By Alita Joseph
30 May 2015   |   4:27 am
JUST as we think that this society has seen it all, all the negative behaviours that could make the very young unfriendly and hostile now we hear of child soldiers. So how does these make you feel, you mothers; a child barely out of diapers and who could barely drag his lunch box now carries weapon?
couple- image source peaktravelgroup

couple- image source peaktravelgroup

The simple meaning is that this society is at a place it never expected to find itself. But if we can admit some truths, it would be that the handwriting has been on the wall for a long time. That aggressive child you handled with kid gloves, the bully in the making whose behaviour your refuse to acknowledge as negative ould be said to have found reinforcement from others like him.

And this reminds me of one day, I was in a shop at Central Lagos when an adult man came in. The owner of the place scolded him of something he did. According to him, the man locked up a young person and inflicted serious injuries on him. The boy lost so much blood that the police were invited. He had done something similar not so long before that, the man.

As the owner of the shop explained to the woman who the culprit came to see, she repeated in this unserious tone “play, rough play? Eh? What type of a human being derived satisfaction from a play that drew blood? I wondered as I looked at her and I was surprised that she did not see the police case as serious enough to add her voice of caution.

But the smile that played on the lips of this fellow showed he enjoyed what he did. Could she not see that? The shop owner saw it and was concerned. How can we help child soldiers who are victims themselves? It appears we will have to leave that with Government and their counselors. But we know that we cannot continue to wrap our young people in cotton wool as mothers have always done. If they can be captured by bad influences, it means that we have not done it as it should be done, we have missed out some things in the way we train the children, it appears.

We can say therefore it is not ideal to look the other way when our teenage son says something rude about someone who passes by. The mother hears it and feels happy because the stranger looks different – this is quite common now. So if our utterances and behaviour make us want to fight instead of shake hands, they have to be wrong.

So the answer is that we teach the children how to build healthy relationships. Some parents may say that if they feel shy to make friends themselves, that it explains why their children find it difficult to make friends. But shy parents can raise children who can make healthy friendships. It is part of parenting to teach the children how to make friends and survive in groups. Without friendship a child cannot enjoy his studies. A child learns many things from people his age. With the right friendships, he would understand better how his age mates dress, talk and behave. A child who has a healthy relationship will know that it is alright to do good when his friend is rewarded for doing something good.

It has been proved that a child who wants to belong, but is rejected is the one who becomes anxious, he is the one who will likely join the wrong group.
Don’t wait until your child is a teenager before you teach her the art of friendship, Start early. Even babies know homogeneity. They watch each other for some moment and then they reach out tentatively to touch and then smile to each other.

Start to teach them as early as when they are in the primary school, at this stage, it is easier. Teaching teenagers may not be easy because of this turbulent phase when relationships are difficult to sustain. Enroll them in group activities like art clubs, cultural group or sport clubs. Ask them to tell you what they have learned when they come home, repeating or reenacting will make them better at it and more popular with their friends. Children like friends who are known by everybody to do something nice.

The advantage of beginning early is that you can know when child does not like his friends. If he does not feel belonged, he would not join in normal childhood play.

It may be that this group is aggressive. It is possible that your child is the hostile one. But find out why he is sullen around them. If he is the one who fights the other children, teach him how to express himself with words instead of using his fists. Parents of boys should be watchful because boys do not like to say that they do not like their friends; they believe that a fight settles the issues.

Teach them to express themselves better by discussing hobbies. Ask the right questions and show interest without stating your opinion. Make her repeat what you say in your own words so you teach her how to listen.

Your concern should be that she passes her exams. Your goal too should be that she has good friends – there may only be two of them, but the important thing is that she is confident and can confide in and enjoy her friendship.

Tell her that true friendship is the love and affection you have shown your friends. She should not believe that a friendship blossoms because she knows the best looking guy in class.
That good friends value each other’s health and safety. A good friend trusts and respects a friend. They are happy when things are well for the other. They listen when the other is talking and when what he says is not clear, would ask questions.

A good friend is happy when the other succeeds and feels sorry when they make a mistake. Encourage him to bring his friends home and make sure that you entertain them.

Your own healthy relationships is a good example, include them in some activities with your own friends, it shows them how strong bonds are made. You may have reason to fall out with your friends, explain simply to them how it happened and tell them what you want to do about it.