Friends Are A Gift You Give Yourself
My oldest boy is fifteen and was a real jerk about a month ago. He had gotten pretty full of himself and acted like he was too cool for the rest of the family. Pretty typical teenager behavior, but I didn't like it. I had gotten to the end of my patience with him and laid into him about how lousy it felt to be treated that way. We ended up in a huge fight. He argued that he wasn't acting any different than normal and that I was just choosing to see things negatively. So, I laid out numerous examples of his selfish "me me me" behaviors without stopping to take a second breath. He hates it when I go off like that, but once he was ready to really talk, I came down off of my soapbox. He was close to tears. Apparently, I'd hit a nerve. He confessed that his closest friends at school had been trying to tell him the same thing recently and he wasn't hearing them. Now he suddenly knew what it was they had been trying to say. He felt awful and began to make immediate changes in his behaviors towards others. He really hated the idea that he was hurting anyone's feelings by being cold and uncaring.
We talked a lot that night about how family sort of has to put up with each other. Family is always there for you. Family can embarrass you and you still have to acknowledge them in public. Family can and will scream at you until you finally get the point that you're being a jerk. You really don't have much choice over who your family is.
Friends, on the other hand, are a gift that you give yourself. Friends don't have to put up with your attitudes if they don't want to. Friends can leave you hanging if you're not very nice towards them. Friends aren't friends for very long if you're embarrassing them in public. Friends usually won't scream at you to get their point across. You handpick your friends to be something different and special. They aren't quite the same as family.
In order to have friends, you have to be a friend. Do you listen to them? Do you care for them? Do you encourage them? You have to give a lot of yourself to be a good friend to someone. But in the end, you are the one who benefits the most. It's not about becoming some kind of martyr without any personal needs or thoughts towards your own well-being. It's more about nurturing a cherished relationship. That way, you have a dear friend to hang out with when your family is driving you bonkers. You have someone to laugh and play with. You have someone safe to share your hopes and dreams with. You have someone to talk to who isn't going to blab to the rest of the family that you think your mom is an overbearing control freak or that your stepfather isn't turning out to be your idea of what a dad could be.
Through our discussions that night, we were able to tap into what was it about my son that made him such a great guy to hang out with over the years. It was his ability to genuinely care about others and his intuitive compassion for everyone that made him more than just popular, but a real friend to all. He's the kind of guy who always sticks up for the smaller kids and looks after the lost children. Once I reminded him of who he used to be, he realized how much of his focus had turned inwards towards himself instead of outwards towards those whom he cared about. He said that he'd gotten so wrapped up in his new cool friends and in his public image at school that he hadn't even understood what his old friends were talking about when they said he was cold and uncaring now. Turning his attention inwards had caused him to alienate many of his closest friends and family. Now he suddenly felt very much alone in the world. Luckily, it hadn't been happening for very long before I'd blown up at him and made him look at it. He was able to quickly readjust back into the caring person he used to be and was able to feel loved and supported by his friends and family again. He passionately dove back into his friendships.
He learned that you can treat your brother like garbage and he's always your brother and you will have to see each other at family gatherings whether you ever learn to be close or not. Friends on the other hand, can and will walk out of your life if you are cold and uncaring towards them. Family will eventually just shrug their shoulders and excuse your self-absorbed behavior as just the way you are, friends won't. I find it's the friendships that we love and nurture like family that last forever as if they were family. And, it's the family members that we love and nurture like friends that we form the strongest and closest bonds with.
They say that we learn our social skills from our siblings, but I'm not so sure about that anymore. My stepmother wasn't a very nurturing type and when we were younger my sister and I were not very close. So through my girlfriends, I got that female connection that I just couldn't get from my family. My girlfriends became my surrogate family and taught me a lot about how to really be there for someone else. My sister and I have only recently become friends in the last few years. We are forming a different kind of bond then what we had when we were children. It's much better now. I would never treat my friends the way I used to treat my sister!
Copyright 2004, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow's Edge
About The Author
Skye Thomas began writing books and articles with an everyday practical approach to life in 1999 after twenty years of studying spirituality, metaphysics, astrology, personal growth, motivation, and parenting. After years of high heels and business clothes, she is currently enjoying working from home in her pajamas. Go to www.TomorrowsEdge.net to read more of her articles and to get a free preview of one of her books.
Son, Can I Use The Car Tonight?
I recall somewhere in the recesses of my aging brain a time past when kids actually asked to borrow the family car for the evening. Heck, I even recall myself uttering that request to my folks many times.
5 Steps to Raising an Optimistic Child
I had just completed a session with 17-year old Julie who suffered from severe depression. Julie believed she was a total failure and would never be able to change anything in her life.
Examining Drugs for ADHD, Particularly Strattera
In memory of 14 year old Matthew Smith; 11 year old Stephanie Hall; and 10 year old Shaina Dunkle and other children who have died from the use of psychotropic drugs for "ADHD".The Eli Lilly company has been marketing a new drug for those who are labeled as ADHD known as Strattera.
Winning The Whining War
Jason Meridith's two-year old son whines when he wants more juice. Brenda Kreuger's eight-year old daughter whines about having to take piano lessons.
Is Your Child Learning Nothing?
You send your child to school and the teachers teach them. If that is what you think, you could be way wrong ! While most teachers are good at presenting information to a class, learning happens ONLY if kids actually want to learn.
Are You Meeting ALL Your Childs Basic Needs?
This may come as a surprise, but many parents are unaware ofthe full extent of their child's basic needs.Do you remember the old song by Lennon and McCartney aboutthe girl leaving home after 'living alone for so manyyears'? The parents were desolate.
Dexedrine, Cylert, and Adderall in the Treatment of ADHD
Dexedrine is not prescribed very often for the treatment of ADHD out here in California, but those patients that we've seen on it have done well. Typically it is prescribed to patients who have not responded to Ritalin very well.
Failure or Future? Its Up To YOU!
We all want to comfort our children after they suffer any kind of failure or disappointment. It's only natural.
You Dont Need a Supernanny to Be an Active Parent
The hot new reality TV show "Nanny 911" has been joined by a similar nanny-to-the-rescue show called "Supernanny." These shows depict families in which the children are extremely out of control, rebellious, spoiled or otherwise quite a handful.
Revering the Crayon Marks
"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.
Teach Your Kids to Cook Well, Eliminating Excessive Health Care Needs in the Future
We are all aware of the child obesity epidemic that has not only attacked the United States, but internationally as well. To keep our children healthy and keep health care costs down, we must examine even the simplest angles to prevent this problem.
Attaboy! Encouraging Phrases That Build Confidence
Home, home on the range, Where never is heard A discouraging word And the skies are not cloudy all day!Oh, that would be wonderful but most parents and bosses tend to feel that criticism and pointing out what is wrong will make others want to do what is right. However, people cannot improve unless they feel good enough about themselves to believe they are capable of improvement.
MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part II
Handing Down Malignancy.Children may begin bright and eager to face the world, but are often inundated with the conditioning of their fear-ridden predecessors speaking of lost dreams-taken by no one in particular.
God Dont Like Rich People
I will never forget the day that my daughter's sixth grade friend told me that. We had been discussing someone who had recently lost a fortune and had become very bitter as a result.
Life Stuck In Fast Forward
the woes of being a parent of an ADHD child..
Labeling is Disabling: Achieving Congruent Communication
A small town, somewhere in the world, was managed by a town council of seven or eight members. The council normally met once a week.
Raising a Violent-Free Teen in 10 Easy Steps
The disquieting behavior of teenagers in the 21st century, is being hailed by experts as a disturbing trend among troubled youth. Such an interpretation may be factual, but mental heath advocates maintain there are guidelines parents can utilize before problems reach the critical stage.
5 Simple Steps Guaranteed To Allow You To Spend More Time With Your Children This Summer
Look around: Your kids are counting sleeps until the last day of school, the local outdoor swimming pool is open, and the temperature has sky-rocketed. Summer is here! Are you still stuck in your winter routine? The one filled with rushing around to after school programs, play dates and endless birthday parties.
Is it Attention Deficit Disorder or is it Tourettes Syndrome?
During the assessment process it is of great importance for the physician or clinician to consider other possible causes of inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity in your child (or teen, or yourself). In fact, this is probably the most important element of a good assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Reading To Your Child
Are you worried about your child's reading habits? Perhaps you feel he or she should be starting to read, but they have no interest in books whatsoever? I had the same problem with my son. Gosh, he would rather chew on 'The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes' than read a word from it! Here's a short list of questions which I find very relevant if you're concerned about your kids' reading habits.
|home | site map|