It happens to everyone. Your child comes home with a friend that you don’t like and you worry that your son or daughter is going to pick up some of the poor behavior of this other child if you don’t end the relationship. How do you help your child to choose better friends? There must be a way. Well, there is.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. —Psalms 127:3, KJV
For starters, there are no bad children, just bad behavior. So, if your child is already close with a child that is not up to your standards, have your son or daughter lead by example and teach this kiddo how to be a Godly child. Have them bring the friend to your home and observe the interactions with your own family. Make sure you have a conversation with your child explaining that his or her behavior must be an example to their friend and not the other way around. Make sure that they understand that if it turns out badly, there will be consequences.
Now it’s time to help them pick the right friends from the start. Make sure you have open communication with your children. Study the Bible together so that they know what a Godly example should look like. Of course, your own example must be admirable. Children do what they see. Explain to them what is acceptable and what is not and show them biblical examples. So what behaviors are acceptable for a good friend at school?
The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. —Proverbs 12:26, KJV
A good friend will be there for you when you need him. He will give good advice and put others before himself. His advice will be good hearted and he will only want what is best for you.
A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. —Proverbs 16:28, KJV
A good friend will not gossip and stir up difficulties. A good friend will keep secrets and leave other people’s business private. If your friend is gossiping about other people, there is a very good chance that he is talking about you as soon as your back is turned.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. —Proverbs 17:17, KJV
A good friend will love others and show goodness at all times. A friend worth having will not desert you in times of adversity. He will hold your hand and be there for you to lean on so that you will not be alone.
This is all good advice and it comes straight from scripture, but how do we know that our children are hearing us and doing what is right? Make sure you talk to them every day. Ask who they were having lunch with, who sits beside them and who they normally talk to throughout the day. Find out information about these children. Ask questions. Steer your child away from children that you think are going to have a negative impact and encourage them to move towards the better-behaved ones.
If your child has social media, such as Facebook, check their Facebook page. It is not spying to check your child’s timeline. If they are under the age of 21, they are your responsibility and you need to keep an eye on who they are interacting with and what they are doing. If there is unacceptable behavior from some of their friends on Facebook make them unfriend them, so that this does not become normal for your child to see. Always remember that what goes in, comes out at some point.
Always remember to love one another to keep strong in your faith that if you raised your children the way God had intended; they will eventually learn to make the right decisions on their own. With the Holy Spirit inside of them, they can’t go wrong.