No matter what season of life we find ourselves in, friendships can be difficult to navigate. We have been created by a relational God, to be in relationship with Him and with others. The Bible highlights the reason why friendships can sometimes be so hard. Our own selfish, sinful hearts often mean that we unknowingly cause tension in the very relationships we hold so dearly.
Positive, healthy friendships play an important role in academic achievement. Friendships give children a sense of belonging, build their self esteem and develop their social and communication skills. Belonging promotes positive mental health, physical wellbeing and a better focus on learning.
Our desire is that all children at Shire Christian School will feel loved and cared for, by not only their teachers, but also their peers. We are exploring what the Bible teaches us on how to be a good friend. Characteristics of loyalty, generosity, love and trustworthiness can be seen in the friendships of David and Jonathon. Jesus’ command to love one another and serve each other’s needs are opportunities to show love and kindness to each other at school. Students will have the opportunity to discuss and role play what healthy friendships look like, how to disagree respectfully, forgive and at times compromise.
We have challenged our students with the phrase ‘in order to have a good friend, we must first be a good friend’ and that a “friend loves at all times” Proverbs 17:17.
As parents, it can be hard to see our children unhappy or hurt because of social situations with their friendships. Here are a few ideas that you could try to help your child build positive friendships with their peers at school:
- Talk to them about what makes a ‘good friend’ so they know what qualities they need to have in order to be a good friend.
- Teach them empathy and kindness, sharing and turn-taking in the home environment.
- Listen but not try to solve the issue straight away. Think about what they could do to help the situation.
- Encourage your child to join sport or activity groups outside of school where they can broaden their friendship groups.
- Role model how you interact with your friends.
- Try talking with them and giving them strategies for setting boundaries, disagreeing respectfully, forgiving.
- Encourage your child to look out for others who may not have a friend to play with, always including others in their games and activities
- Pray with them. Ask the Lord to help them be a good friend and to grow in them the characteristics of a good friend. Pray for their friends and for the needs of their friends.
- Encourage playdates after school or on the weekends to consolidate friendships and to get to know your child’s friends and their families
- Encourage them to see a teacher for help when things are difficult or they feel hurt by the actions or words of others.
Our Junior School has been thoroughly enjoying the FUN that is being pumped into Friday lunchtimes by our Senior Leaders, Ruby, Bethany and India. With upbeat music filling our primary quad, it is wonderful to see our student community coming together to enjoy these fortnightly lunchtime activities! Chalk drawings with the theme of ‘What makes you happy’, limbo and skipping, all culminated in a sea of smiles. What a way to celebrate our week. It is also a beautiful reminder of the service and dedication of our Secondary School leadership team and the privilege that it is to be part of a Prep to Year 12 school.
Mrs Ruth Cooper
Head of Junior School
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