Discerning – Who is my Friend?

Posted Thursday, September 10th, 2009. Filed Under Voices of youth

Starting school can be daunting, scary and all that depending if you are going to a new school, changing from junior school to the high school or remembering that last year was not such a great year.

We just moved and my boys are attending a new school. While change can be exciting, I realize that it can be accompanied with fear and anxiety.  In order for me to reduce this for my boys I have given them some tools to empower and assist them during the beginning few days. This advice was given to me by a woman I respect and she also is a social worker.

Imagine you arrive at school before the bell rings and you see some kids that you know. Take a look and see what they are doing. Does this interest you?  If so, walk over and just observe to see what is going on: is it a one-on-one game or is there a whole bunch of  people involved. When you feel comfortable ask if you can join the game or maybe you want to wait and throw the ball to a person playing – this often invites an invitation.

Perhaps you can bring something to school that you like and another person will find what you are doing interesting and ask to join.

Joining clubs and groups of interest is always helpful for you will share similar interests with someone.

This has come up for me a lot during the last two weeks both for myself and for my older son.  There are some boys that he knows that I asked him to really think about – does he like how they make him feel when he is with them?  This is a life long lesson that if you can learn and be aware of when you are young will serve you well over your life.

Discerning and figuring out who is your true friend, and yes things change and a friend today may no longer be in your life 10 years from now, however being able to make that distinction in the present moment is important.

This really comes down to loving and honouring yourself and learning to speak your truth and set boundaries of how you are treated.  When you are empowered and love yourself, you honour how you want to be treated.  A true friend will talk to you with respect, will bring you up and will support you through your good and bad times.  A true friend “has your back” and you can count of them.  You treat one another with mutual respect and can share ‘secrets’ with them.  If there is an issue between good friends then the issue can be raised and dealt with in a mature manner.

I have shared this with my son for I have a lot of very good friends. I feel that he is going through this right now — who is my friend? and that once he understands and is truly aware of his own power and truth that the rest will fall into place. He will decide if the boy he has been playing with is a friend or not. In turn, he will treat this person well. If this does not happen he will quickly learn the other side – people will not want to be with him.

In some ways, each of us have gone through this. The ones that learned their lessons quickly moved through this issue while others, even adults, are still facing this issue.

This is some food for thought.




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