Friendship Measured in Real Relationships, Not Social Media
Young girls of our current generation are engrossed, influenced and in many ways, tested by social media everyday – it cannot be avoided. They Tweet, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Facebook and I am sure even more this slightly older millennial hasn’t heard of yet. Tweens and teens in particular spend as much time on their mobile devices (nearly 9 hours in some cases) as they do on their PCs and laptops. This is a LOT of time for what could be damaging relationship consumption between strangers and school friends alike, especially if a particular young girl is unsuspecting enough. There is a lot to be said about the therapy of releasing ourselves from “plugging” into the virtual world and focusing instead on what is in front of us every day.
As a young girl and even today, I tend to keep my inner circle small and I love life that way. At any given time, I had 2, maybe 3 friends that were really my true friends. These treasured friends are really the definition of a “best” friend. I am talking spill-your- guts-out-to, cry over the sad as well as the happy, know what they are thinking by just looking at them type of true friends. These are the people that need your attention and the perfect excuse to pull yourself away from the hustle of social media. I find it helpful to cultivate meaningful relationships by thinking through some practical self-evaluation of myself, as well as who I want to be spending my time around in a handful of easy steps.
These are also practical ways to encourage a young girl in need of friendship building, as well as some links related to further helpful reading:
- Tag Along with Who Makes You Happiest-seems easy enough to do right? But, not always. Young girls, especially elementary school age, start experiencing both competitive and rejection in relationships, as well as start to see cliques form. PBS offers a helpful read on these transitions.
- Take Time to Acknowledge Your Friendships-it is important to demonstrate in front of children and remind children how valuable wonderful relationships are. Little notes and gestures of appreciation to their closest circle remind everyone they are loved. And, who doesn’t love a fun handmade craft you can do with your together?! Possibilities are endless with a quick Google or Pinterest search. I personally love the blog It’s Written on the Wall for fun, fresh ideas. And while you are working on these projects together, talk about what makes each of these relationships special to her.
- Cultivate and Lead Your Own Circle-while approaching friendship growth, why not also empower leadership? Encourage your girl to invite her chosen inner circle on random just for fun trips and adventures. Let her pick the destination and activities. Keep coming back to our blog for future listings of local events in the warmer months you can attend together!
- Just Be YOU-it might go without saying, but reminding our children that the best thing they can do throughout life is to be themselves is really the best. But you can even promote better for a young girl – you can encourage her to express herself, showcase her true self others with great confidence and passion by seeking out resources to support her.
What are some other ways can we teach girls to appreciate their friendships?