February is for Friendship
Friendship is a special gift. Itís a little part of yourself that you give to someone you care about. The value of a good friend is without measure. Friends are fun to be around. You don't have to say anything to invoke their smile; they simply enjoy being with you. A friend is always there for you, even before you ask. Friends are a comfort to us, and the perfect remedy for loneliness. They are someone to laugh with, or to give us a shoulder to cry on. They share our moments of triumph, and they pick us up when we are down. A friend understands you even when you're not making sense. Friends listen with their heart; they stand by you and stay there no matter what.
As with all human relationships, friendships need nurturing. But sometimes itís hard to say ďLetís be friends,Ē or ďI like you.Ē One of the easiest ways to express your feelings is by the things you do. Every year around this time, friends and loved ones exchange cards, poems, flowers, candy and gifts. This month, send some special valentines to your friends to let them know you care, and to show them how much they mean to you.
How to Be a Good Friend
A friendly person genuinely cares about others, even people they hardly know. The first rule of friendship is to treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Be honest, trustworthy, and considerate of peopleís feelings. Be courteous, be a good sport, and donít always demand to get your own way. Donít be mean or overly critical, donít talk about people behind their backs, and donít lie. Donít be a show-off and donít monopolize conversations, either.
Friends always stick by each other and stand up for one another. If a friend ever does something wrong, speak to him or her in private about it, but not in front of other people. If you do something wrong, say ďIím sorry.Ē If someone apologizes to you, accept the apology, forgive them, and try not to hold a grudge. Friends donít always agree on everything, but they enjoy each otherís company and do their best to get along with each other regardless of minor differences.
How to Make Friends
Most people feel a little shy when it comes to meeting people and making new friends. Thereís always a chance that your show of friendship will be ignored, or maybe even rejected. If that happens, donít waste your time on that person. You can always find someone else who will appreciate your friendship. But if you donít try, youíll never know.
Is there a kid who you think you would like to be friends with? Notice how he/she treats others. If he/she is nice to others, chances are that he/she would be a good friend to you, too. Introduce yourself and ask the kid questions about school, or what he/she likes to do. Really listen and show a sincere interest in what he/she has to say. Talk about things you have in common.
We should never take our friends for granted. Always be kind and considerate to them. We can brighten their day by even the littlest things we do. Try to view your actions through the eyes of friends at school or in the neighborhood. What do you like or dislike in the things that you see? If you can put yourself in their shoes, you will discover what it takes to make life more pleasant for everyone. Add to this a good sense of humor, a big dose of patience, and a dash of humility, and you will be rewarded many times over.
Want to be a good friend? Here are some ideas!
1. Be considerate of other people's feelings.
2. If you know someone who is physically or mentally challenged, try to include him or her in some of your activities.
3. Bake a batch of cookies and give them to someone who needs cheering up.
4. Always be alert for opportunities to help others.
5. Be a friend to a new student and show him or her around the school.
6. Invite someone new to join you for lunch.
7. Say nice things about the people around you and they'll do the same for you.
8. Bite your tongue before you gossip; your tongue will hurt, but your friends won't.
9. Trust makes a friendship; gossip takes it away.
10. To get friends who won't gossip about you, be a friend who won't gossip about them.
11. When someone confides in you, keep the secret. Donít even tell your best friend! You want the same for your secrets, right?
12. Remember that every person is special in his or her own way.
13. Give others the benefit of the doubt, and reach out. Maybe the person you think is a snob is just shy, or the kid making fun of you is jealous of your nice family or good grades.
14. Keep in mind, there are at least two sides to every story. It is far better to help make peace among your friends than to contribute to the quarrel.
15. Disagree with respect. Harsh words said in haste can take a long time to erase.
16. Speak sweetly, so if you have to eat your words, they won't taste so bad.
17. Be nice to fellow classmates instead of being a bully.
18. Be generous with praise, and be cautious with criticism.
19. Don't be afraid to speak to people - a cheerful word of greeting is always appreciated.
20. When meeting someone for the first time, make a point to remember their name and call them by their name the next time you see them.
Did You Know...?
February 11 is Make a New Friend Day, February 12 is Kindness Awareness Day, and February 14 is Valentine's Day!
Friends Forever: How Parents Can Help Their Kids Make and Keep Good Friends, by Fred Frankel, 2010. (Practical information for parents to help their children make friends and keep them. Includes how to handle problem situations, and techniques for using social media in positive ways to foster friendships.)
How Kids Make Friends: Secrets for Making Lots of Friends No Matter How Shy You Are, by Lonnie Michelle, 1997. (A colorful children's version of Dale Carnegie's bestseller, "How To Win Friends and Influence People.")
How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them, by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown, 1998. (This picture book offers kids practical suggestions about resolving arguments, getting over being shy, handling bossy children, bullies, and more.)
The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble With Friends, by Stan and Jan Berenstain, 1986. (Sister Bear becomes friends with Lizzy, a new bear who moves in next door. They learn that sometimes friends have fights, but that a friend is good to have despite their differences.)
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