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Good Friendship, Bad Friendship Characteristics

by Teresa, The CuteKid™ Staff


For most children friendships are a vital part of life. As children transition to being a
teenager friends become even more important. Who your childís friends are often
determines the choices they make. Friends can have a great influence upon their behavior. Of course as parents we want our children to make good friendship, friends that will
influence them positively. But what exactly constitutes a good friendship or bad friendship?

It isnít always easy to tell if your child is in a bad friendship. And itís even harder for your child to recognize and realize that a friendship is not good. Here are some warning signs
from The Girlís and Boyís Town that can help identify when a friendship is not positive.

The bad friend:

  • always wants things done their own way.
  • is jealous of any other relationships or friendships your child has.
  • is critical of your child and of others.
  • doesnít give your child any space and always wants to be with them.
  • acts like they are better than your child in some way.
  • may lie to your child and others.
  • encourages your child to make bad choices.
  • has different values than your child.
  • uses your child.

On the flip side good friends act differently.

The good friend:

  • respects your childís opinion.
  • has their own interests outside of your child.
  • acts like they and your child are equals.
  • is honest with your child and others.
  • doesnít criticize.
  • supports your child in their activities.
  • has similar interests.
  • has similar values.

If you believe that your child is involved in a bad friendship help them evaluate the friendship by asking them questions like:
  • Does your friend make you feel good?
  • Do you ever wonder if your friend says bad things about you behind your back?
  • Does your friend ever ask you to do things that you are uncomfortable with?
  • Does your friend make you feel like you are not as good as they are?
  • Does your friend not like it when you hang out with other people?
  • Does your friend ask you to contribute more to the relationship?
  • Does your friendship make you feel safe and comfortable?
By asking your child these questions you can get them thinking about the friendship and if it is really a positive thing in their life. You canít force your child to drop a friend just because you feel it is negative. In fact telling your child that you donít like a certain friend can backfire. But you can ask your child questions to get them thinking about the friendship and the qualities that a good friend has.