Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friend or Foe...or Somewhere in Between? - Part 1

It's a funny thing with kids and friends.

I'm not sure if it's the area in which we live or yet another sign of the times...but our kids can't seem to find friends.

They have lots of acquaintances -- and friends-on-the-surface -- but honest-to-goodness BFFs seem scarce these days. At least in our little microcosm.

When I was a kid we moved a lot...and by a lot, I mean: A LOT.  Every so many years we were uprooted and moving to a new neighborhood, where for the most part we had to find our own kind to hang with. My mom never set up "play dates" or walked us door-to-door.

We went to school...met people on the bus...were involved in clubs...or even walked ourselves around the neighborhood knocking on doors and asking if there were any kids on the premises who might be available to play with us. I guess we knew no shame?

I can't say it was my favorite thing to do, and I was awfully glad to have a big sister to walk around with, especially since she did most of the talking. Of course, she ended up with most of the friends, too. Go figure.

Over the years, we met a few nice people...a few mean people...a few people who started off nice and ended up mean...and a few people that fluctuated between the two, veering mostly towards nice.  It was an interesting way to grow up.

My point has nothing to do with a comparison of my kidhood versus the kidhood my own sweeties are experiencing. My point is merely about friends.  There's no set formula for how it happens. (I truly wish there was.) In my own experience, you're just nice to somebody similar in age and hope that they'll be nice back.

And being nice might mean chatting with them, getting together with them, praying for them, etc.  I remind them that friendship is like a flower, in that sometimes it takes time to blossom and bloom.

So this is what we teach our just hasn't produced any "fruit" yet.

To be continued....

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