They say when you have a friend, you have a treasure. Every 28th of December we spend time with some of my husband’s childhood friends. They’ve known each other since they were 6 years old and live all over Spain, but no matter the distance we make sure to have a dinner together once a year with all of our families.
My children have now inherited this practice from their father. My children know they should always take care of their friends, stand by their side (especially in the most difficult moments). Even if the distance is far, with present technology there are no excuses. In our house we always say, “You have to play with all the kids in class, including the ones who are fat or maybe a little different, the ones who don’t smell good and the ones who pick their noses…” We must learn how to be friends with everyone. We have something we can give to everyone and each individual has something they can give to others. When they get home from school, I encourage them to call any classmate that might not have made it to school that day, ask if they’re feeling ok or what might be wrong… to always think of the others. The one who gives is happier than the one who receives. And it’s always important to set concrete goals for each child individually: “You only have 3 friends? Ok, let’s see if you can make 2 more…”
We often like to go on outings with the families of each friend. We get to know them, talk about their lives, learn about the small problems that each of them face. This past Sunday I was with Alvaro’s class. They are all 15 years old and are full of hormones. It’s great to speak with the parents and understand how each family has similar difficulties and how they deal with them. We learn so much sharing each family’s practices and the rules they put in place to help guide their children.
It’s such a blessing having many great friends. We must teach our children to choose their friends well: this way they can help each other to get through difficulties together, support each other, and work on many great projects together.