GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - Friendships are some of the most beautiful and enjoyable relationships our lives. Friends are the source of love, support and laughter, but these relationships have to be fostered and nurtured. Starting at a young age, kids encounter issues with friends and it only continues through adulthood.
Maranda sat down with Carol Rich, a clinical social worker, from Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services to address some of our viewer questions about the topic of friendship.
1. My daughter is in elementary school. She has some close friends, which is great, but I want her to encourage her to expand her friends without feeling guilty. What should I do?
Early childhood is a time to test out different relationships. Look for opportunities to introduce your child to different groups of children, maybe through a church group, sports group, scouting or another extracurricular activity. This will expose you child to children they aren't normally around and give them a chance to meet new kids.
2. How do we as adults deal with relationships that have split up and still have respect for that other person?
When relationships end we often experience grief, sadness, anger and frustration. It's important to take care of your emotions while navigating through this relationship. Don't expect a close relationship with the other person at first, especially in cases of divorce. It's important to develop boundaries and rules in order to help you work through things.
3. I have a three-year-old and I'm one of those hands on and controlling parents. How do I let my child make her own friends, but still be involved in it?
A young child needs a hands-on parent to help guide them and teach them principals like sharing, respect, being kind, etc. Look for opportunities to be with your child while they play. Activities like parent/child swimming lessons, library story time and play groups, all work well.
4. As people grow, how do you maintain the friendship since people change a lot?
This is something you often see at the middle school or high school age. It's important to tell your kids that friends come and go through out your lives. It can be hard for kids to understand, but they need to know that this is normal and it's okay.
Find out more about Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services at www.pinerest.org.
Maranda talks with Troy Thrash from the Air Zoo about fun things to do during the holiday break
Around the world Sunday, December 8th, families are lighting candles to remember children who have died.
The holiday season is kicking off in downtown Grand Rapids as the 40ft tree gets ready to light up city!