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Friends Make A Difference

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

Do you know that the friends you choose as a child or adult can make a difference to your progress in life?

Friendships are influential, they can encourage or discourage us from doing good or bad, from working or procrastinating.

I started writing this blog early this morning, left it and took my youngest daughter to school. As we had arrived early, we ended up waiting in the playground for several minutes, so I took the opportunity to mingle with some other parents or as my eldest daughter likes to say, we had a ‘mother’s meeting’ in the playground. Anyway, I noticed that one of my daughter’s friends, was unusually quiet and clingy, so I asked her Mum what the problem was…and yep, it was the issue of friendships. Now while I won’t divulge the details, I will say it got me thinking more about how influential friends can be and how with children especially, good friends can help them shine and blossom and bad friends can do the opposite.

Just in case you are one of those parents that do not pay attention to your child’s friendships, this psychology paper at New York University explains it clearly:

‘Although parents and educators may perceive friendship as fluid and trivial for young children, friendships are significant and can influence the trajectory of a student’s school career (Bulotsky-Shearer et al., 2012; Sebanc, 2003).’

I would imagine that we all love our children and want them to have the best that life offers and that includes their education too, so most of us push or encourage our children to take up extra-curricular activities or extra tuition just to get ahead. We also try and buy the best clothing and equipment for them that our financial position allows. This is all great!


My questions are: Do we also pay that much attention to their friendships? Do we take the time to sit with them (from an early age) to discuss the different types of friends. Do we take the time to know who their friends are? Do we encourage them to have good friends?

Often enough, if a child begins to display behaviour that is inconsistent with their personality, it may be down to new ‘friends’. It is always good to have regular discussions with your child, about friendships. Get to know who they are.

It is also worth leading by example too by making sure you have good, positive friends in your inner circle too.

What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.

If you would like to know more about Joined Up Thinking and what we do click here.

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