Kids and teens, in particular, yearn to fit in. As a parent, you may help your child feel more at home in the world by fostering solid friendships and by helping them recognize what a bully-proof friendship looks like. According to research, healthy friendships have a beneficial effect on one’s general health and well-being.
Anti-bullying efforts cannot be successful without the support of supportive peers. Children who are socially isolated are frequently the targets of bullies. Bullying is less likely to affect children who have a large group of friends.
Friendships that aren’t healthy cause issues. Your child’s friend may be a bully in these scenarios. To put it another way, it’s more damaging than beneficial. Bully-proof friendships have these seven features in common.
Consider One Another To Be On An Equal Footing
All friends are treated equally in a good friendship, and they all have an equal say in their actions and where they go. Even if one or two of your child’s pals prefer to take the lead, they treat your child as an equal and value their opinion.
When there is an unbalance in a friendship, one person tends to take charge by asserting their authority, being dictatorial, or insisting on certain methods. There is no cooperation or equitable treatment in these friendships.
In “mean girl” circles, it’s common for people to act in ways that reinforce the existing power imbalance. Your child’s friendships will not be healthy if they are not being treated as an equal by their peers.
Honest and Trustworthy
Honesty and trustworthiness are essential components of a strong connection. Friends don’t spread stories or gossip, and they preserve what others have shared with them confidential.
In the event of a blunder, a healthy buddy takes responsibility for their actions and apologizes for their transgression.
Celebrate Friends’ And Coworkers’ Successes
To see if your child’s friendships are flourishing, pay attention to how their peers react when they experience joy. What about when your child wins an honor or makes a sports team? Do their buddies go all out to celebrate? Is your child’s peer group happy for them or envious if they achieve academic success or win an award?
Bullying can be sparked by feelings of jealousy and envy in children. Be proactive in addressing any indicators of jealousy in your child’s peer group.
Take a Stand in Support of One Another
When a buddy stands up for another or defends a victim of bullying, friendships can help deter bullying. Good friends warn bullies to stop, help victims report bullying, and support them afterward.
Friends are more than spectators in life’s events. They serve as a safety net for your child if they are subjected to harassment.
Encouragement of Other Relationships
Friendships that last don’t have to be exclusive. When your child is part of a strong friendship group, their peers encourage them to mix it up and make new friends.
On the other hand, cliques discourage people from making new acquaintances and may even “penalize” those who do. Clandestine cliques often urge their members to conform by ostracizing individuals who disagree with their standards.
Possess The Qualities Of Authenticity And Truthfulness
Your youngster will feel free to be themselves in a supportive friendship. Their buddies, on the other hand, will also be their true selves. It’s important that no one in the group feels pressured to act or think in a way they don’t naturally do to fit in.
Your child may pretend they have fake friends. They may believe they cannot fully express their interests, personalities, and preferences because they are ashamed of who they are.
Avoids Being Pressured by Peers
Friendship is based on mutual respect for one another’s personal space. Your child’s best buddy will respect your child’s request if they ask not to do something or say no to a request from your kid.
On the other hand, unhealthy friendships can lead to an unhealthy level of peer pressure. If your child’s peers are pressuring them to say or do things they don’t want to (such as bullying others), talk to your child about how to deal with peer pressure.
Without these seven criteria, your teen’s friendships may be at risk for bullying. Talk to them about the qualities of a good friend and encourage them to work on improving their social networks.
You have the power to teach your child the difference between healthy relationships and unhealthy ones through the example you set as a parent. Throughout the process, be patient and kind to each other. Making and maintaining long-term, mutually beneficial relationships is not always straightforward, and it may take your child some time to figure out where they belong.
Meaningful articles you might like: Middle School Friendships, List of Toxic Friends To Avoid, Spotting The Difference Between Cliques and Friends