( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )

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Family And Friends

Making Positive Friends

We all need friends. Friendship is important throughout life. Friendships are necessary for most people to feel good about themselves. Friends spend time together to know each other well. Friends can be either male or female. Young people are benefited from interacting with many friends of both genders.

Group activities give them opportunities to learn about other without awkwardness or embarrassment. Friends play a vital role in adolescence as they begin to transfer some of their emotional dependence from their parents to their peer group. The peer group helps adolesents develop identities separate from families by providing support, friendships and an arena for practising social skills. The peer support and peer pressure could be at times harmful. These are key factors in adolescents experimentation with tobacco, alcohol and drugs.

Peer pressure can also be a positive force. It helps socialization. The stronger the peer pressure against misconduct, the more the adolescent refrains from misconduct. Peer pressure can also lead to work for good grades and get along well with the parents. Adolescents also need to know how to pick out the qualities of friends honesty, loyalty, humour, sincerity, acceptance, common interests, etc. Friendship is also a give and take process. For close friendship, one has to offer love, time, energy and commitment to others.

Peer Pressure
Adolescents may be so eager to be liked by their peers that they are willing to let their friends decide things for them. That is called peer presure. Peers may pressure them to do something what they do not want to do. Their friends may try to get them to lie to their parents, to be unkind to others or experiment with drugs or sex.

ends may get them into trouble to serve their own needs. Adolescents should be careful that their friends do not use them. Learn to say “No” A simple straightforward, “No, I do’nt want to” or, “Sorry, I can’t” be an effective way of handling peer pressure. If the adolescent practises this alone in his room, he may find courage to say it aloud when he needs it. This is not a rude or aggressive reply. He has his right to say “No.” An important part of friendship is doing things together and learning skills from one another.

takes courage and practice to be open with one another. Practice will help to learn whether a person is worthy of trust. People don’t always deserve the trust placed in them. We learn by trial and error. Adolescents have to examine the qualities of positive and negative kinds of friendships and have to learn ways to change negative relationships. Positive Negative Enjoys doing things to help Likes to break the rules. others.

Concerned more about the Wants to be seen with the people than material people who have status. posessions. Study/work together. Tells others that stydy/ work is not important. Looks for person’s good Feels superior to others and qualities. puts others down.

Ways to change negative relationship:

  • l Try to talk the problem over and create a positive change.
  • l End the relationship.
  • l Let the person know that you are concerned about the problem.

“Friendly” reminders about friendship: l To have friends, you have to be a friend. l Make time for friends. Friendship means thinking about others, not just yourself. l A real friend is honest, open, and willing to take the good times with the bad. l A real friend does’nt say, “I'll be your friend if....”. Real friends won’t push you to do something that you know is wrong for you. l Wanting friends is not merely to make us feel less lonely. Real friendship means giving, caring and doing for others without expecting anything in return. FAMILY A family could be large and extended or could be of two people. In family the people different generations got of live together, love, care and help each other.

The needs that family provides are: l Food, shelter, clothing l Love, support l Guidelines for proper ways to behave l A setting for handing down traditions and culture l Formations of values and beliefs l Refuge from the world outside the home. The family unit is the child’s most important teacher. Children learn by watching what the family members do. Though the child learns some of the values in the school, from friends, or from TV and movies, part of the value system is definitely learnt from the family. The family members might not have talked to their children about the values, but children learn by watching and imitating the family members.

Therefore, parents have a responsibility to make certain that they teach the right kind of values and that their children understand the values. Glue together A family needs to be glued together. Sitting together for the dinner or a family vacation or having a common hobby or working together will help to glue together. This provides a kind of environment where a young teenager feels a sense of support, identity and love. Discipline Discipline is the fundamental concern of the parents about their children.

Force in implementation of discipline does not work especially with the teenagers. What really controls them is not the authority but the respect for the authority. Parents should set the limits and spell out consequences for misbehaviour and follow through immediately if such misbehaviour occurs.

Consistancy :Parents have to establish certain ground rules on the issues that are bound to come up as years progress, e.g., friends, family chores, music, clothes, sex, alcohol, drugs etc. Parents have to develop a consistent position on important issues. Children will realize that there are clear, firm family rules and limits. This can prevent problems.

Expectations In communicating the expectations to their children, the parents should think in terms of three basic principles. l To develop a set of expectations that are appropriate to the child’s abilities. l To check with their child what his/her own expectations are l To communicate parent’s expectations clearly; and not to make their child guess. Strengthening family relationship As the peer influence increases, the family influence decreases. However, peer relationship does not interfere with family ties. In fact strong family bonds prevent adolescents from peer pressure for alcohol/drug abuse sex.

A good parent-adolescent communication leads to better ability to cope up with problems and to adopt necessary changes. Healthy families make each other feel wanted and important. They are sensitive to each other’s needs. Family plays an important role as a source of values, ethics and motivates them to make healthy decisions. Adolescents should respect parental authority and take guidance for their positive development. They should respect and appreciate cultural differences in the families. All families experience conflicts. The ideal family is seen only on TV. Guidelines to adolescents No matter what the family problems may be, the families are to be appreciated for love and support. There are many potential sore spots between parents and their children, e.g., money, clothes, hair, homework, friends etc.

The rules for getting along with their parents are:

  1. Adolescents can’t get every thing they want, There are other people in the world besides them.

  2. Let others have their ways sometimes, especially with the little things.

  3. Show a little sympathy.

  4. Make a sincere vow to say “Thank you” to family members.

  5. Do something nice for the family members at least once a week.

  6. Never do anything to betray the trust of the parents.

  7. Make a few agreements in advance to avoid arguments.

  8. Ask advice from parents now and then on something big enough to make them feel important.

  9. Learn to talk and listen.

  10. Learn how to disagree. Learn how to compromise.

  11. Conflicts in the family are normal. Create more sunshine than thunder.

  12. Everyone in your family deserves respect just like you.

  13. Everyone in your family needs love, kindness and appreciation just as you.

  14. Always be honest. It is the best way to build trust in your family.

  15. To build good relations with parents, brothers, and sisters, begin by putting yourself in their shoes. Treat them as you would like to be treated.

  16. All families have their good qualities.

Focus on the good things in your family. When children are wrong, the parents have a right to expect apology; and when parents are wrong, their children have the same right.

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