Teach Your Daughter These 10 Qualities of a Good Friend
Updated: Oct 2
Part 4 in Friendship the Female Dilemma
If you've been with me throughout this four part Friendship series, you know by now how important, vital, it is for women to have strong female friendships in their life. If you need to catch up on any of the first three posts, here ya go. And be sure to read to the end of this one for your free download - "15 Children's Books on Friendship"
Part 1 Friendship, the Female Dilemma
Part 2 8 Types of Friends, Which One Are You?
Part 3 Toxic Friendship - 10 Clues to Watch For
How do we teach our daughters to choose quality, long-lasting friends?
When children are young, their first friendships are often made through playgroups and Mom's social circles. They are happy to go along and play with anyone who wants to join them. Most of their social interactions up to this point are learned from watching their mom and how she interacts with her friends. But what about when they get a little older?
Around the school-age mark, our girls start to decide for themselves who they want to spend time with. Knowing who they want to be friends with though, is not the same as knowing how to choose a good friend, or even be a good friend.
Watching their moms gives little girls a baseline of how a developed friendship can look, but it's in the "behind the scenes" - the development of those friendships, that she will need guidance for navigating her own.
Ask any elementary guidance counselor, and she will tell you that as early as first or second grade there is "Girl Drama". I know it - I've seen it year after year in my own classroom. The counselors will do lessons, host small groups, create anchor charts, all revolving around being and seeking good friends.
Friendship, both being a good friend, and choosing a good friend, is a skill. It needs to be taught.
As moms, we can start our daughters off with friends that we think are good playmates, based on our own friendships, often people who have similar values and interests. But we must also talk about it with our girls.
Ask them simple, yet thought - provoking questions such as:
"Why do you think you and Courtney get along so well?"
"What do you love most about spending time with Courtney?"
You get the idea. The point is, that from a very early age, you want your daughters to be aware of what makes a friendship special, so that they can actively look for those qualities in future friendships, and so that they can become a good friend in return.
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT).
Courtney and Mary Kathryn
I love the friendship that my daughter Mary Kathryn has with her friend Courtney. They first met in a gymnastics class when they were three years old. They instantly connected, so as a result, I met Courtney's mother Melanie and we scheduled a playdate.
It helped that Melanie and I also instantly clicked. So, a sweet, life-long friendship - for both the girls, and for Melanie and me, began.
The girls competed against each other in gymnastics, yet cheered each other on and celebrated each other's wins without jealousy or resentment.
They've been there for each other when life got really hard.
They never went to the same schools, lived twenty minutes apart, went to different colleges in different states - yet they're still best friends.
Last year Mary Kathryn was a bridesmaid in Courtney's wedding.
So what is it exactly that has made this sweet friendship last?
I believe there's one main factor - a mutual love for God that is the foundation of their friendship. Every other aspect is a result of this. I have seen this throughout Mary Kathryn and Courtney's friendship.
LeRyiah Arant has a great blog post on what the Bible teaches us about friendship here.
As mothers, we need to teach our daughters qualities of a good friend. Here are my top 10.
Qualities of a Good Friend
True friends are there for each other in both the good and the bad times
True friends are honest with each other
True friends accept you for who, and how you are
True friends can be trusted with your confidences
True friends will include you with other friends
True friends celebrate each other's successes
True friends let each other know that they are valued
True friends always have your back
True friends can have lapses of time without seeing each other and still pick up where they left off
True friends love each other
What qualities would you add to teach your daughters about choosing and being a good friend? Tell us in the comments.
Download your "15 Children's Books on Friendship" here
to start the conversation with your daughters.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Proverbs 27:9