Close Friends are better than A Million “Friends”
As children, we learn early on that popularity is an important achievement—that the more friends we have, the happier we’ll be. But while we all want to be liked and have close friends, think about popularity in the context of your children.
What is popularity, anyway? Our definition varies at different stages in life. As young children and as we get older, it tends to be a numbers game: Who has the most friends at their birthday party and who has plans every Saturday night? Somewhere in the middle it’s about sitting at “the right” lunch table and hanging out with “the cool” kids. And it’s that middle piece that I worry about.
Too often, our children are focusing on who they’re “supposed” to want to be friends with and getting “in” with those circles, rather than making the right friends for them. Here’s the simple truth of it all: Your child doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) be friends with everyone they meet.
Yes, you want them to be well-liked. But beyond having a generally favorable impression, you want them to feel loved and to have a solid support system. That support is more important the older they get and, while acquaintances may be surface-level supportive, it’s so much more beneficial for them to have deep, meaningful relationships. So instead of emphasizing how many friends they have or how many invites they send for their next party, urge the quality of each friend they hold close.
One of the best things about sports is the opportunity to find people that your child has something in common with—initially, anyway. Of course, sharing that sport allows for time together during practices and meet days, which also helps in the way of bonding time. But being teammates helps foster deep, meaningful relationships in a unique way that only sports can. Not only are they on the same side, fighting for the same thing, but they learn to support one another and to be supported. When things go well, they learn to celebrate one another’s successes. By struggling through something to improve and succeed with a friend in their wing, they gain confidence and learn how to encourage others and build their confidence in turn. And by learning that “that other person” always has their back, they learn to trust and invest in another person in a healthy way.
Sports are a great starting spot for your child to build solid friendships that last.
Not acquaintances. Not false idols. Not a surface-level “friend” who cares more about what they’re wearing or what circle they’re in at school. True friends who are dedicated to one another, share commonality, and are supportive.
The great thing is, as your child makes those close friendships, they’ll worry less about the quantity of “friends” and learn on their own that quality is more important than quantity.
Have an Ultimate Day!
p.s. – Want to introduce your child to an activity where they can meet friends and have fun visit join.ultimatecheer.myascs.com
p.p.s. – Check out all of our past blogs posts here – http://ultimatecanadianathletics.ca/blog/