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Teaching them about being a good caring friend

When I was growing up we didn't talk about emotions. My mom was controling so it was just "I say, you do" and I actually got very comfortable doing things that way. Not towards other people of course, I'm very shy, quiet, polite and respectful to others. I just mean I don't have friends because I'm not good with feelings. However, now I have kids - 3 and under - and I don't want them to be like me. I want them to have good meaningful friendships/relationships with all kinds of people. How do I keep from becoming the controler my mom was? And my biggest question, how do I teach my kids about being good friends when I have HORRIBLE friend skills?

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:10 PM on Jun. 2, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (4)
  • as far as not turning into your mom. just try to watch what you do and say to them.when they are upset or hurt ask them to talk through it instead of you just fussing at them, same for when they are in trouble. that way they see what they feel counts (and for the trouble you know they understand why they are in trouble, not just mom said not to do that but the reasons behind it)
    for being a good friend, teach them respect, manners, and how to get along with others (when someone snatches a toy teach them how to nicely ask for it back not just snatch it right back etc...) and it will grow from there. as they get older they will make friends and you can tackle any issues with those friends then, but right now its just about sharing, pls and thank you, and stuff like that.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 5:17 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • Practice practice practice. You have to re-train yourself to be able to respond to your kids the way you want to. I'm in the same boat with you, and if you want a really good read, try "Parenting from the Inside Out" by Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell. It really helps you understand where you are coming FROM so you don't just repeat the patterns you were raised with. Raising emotionally healthy children is so important and there's more and more evidence pointing to the reality that having emotional intelligence is a greater indicator of success (overall, not financial) than IQ or any other single quality. So read up on emotional intelligence and find out how you can help raise your kids to be more in touch than we are!

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 7:35 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • This is an awesome question. So many people have the same story as you. Grew up NOT talking about emotions at all so now they dont know how. I, on the other hand, grew up in an overly emotional home. Lots of crying, screaming, yelling, but on the plus side, my father was very communicative to me. I love you, youre my baby girl, youre the apple of my eye, theres nothing I wont do for you. That type thing. So my husband, being like you, and I are a good mix. I talk about everything. I think that sometimes you have to push past what your feeling and just say what you know to be the right thing to your kids. I know you have trouble modeling this but dont stop trying. Youre willing and thats a big part. You see what needs to be changed. Have you considered going to therapy to "spill your guts" so to speak so that all that pent up emotion gets let out? Just a thought. It helps when someone gives you permission to say how you feel.

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:56 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • No holds barred, no matter how it comes out. Thats what counseling is for. I think that once you get all that out of you and get to a place that you know its okay to say how you feel, then you wil have no problem explaining to your kids how to show emotion to others. I was told when growing up...that I could say anything I wanted, express any feeling, as long as it was respectful and done in a mature way. Meaning my dad would hear anything I had to say as long as there was no yelling cursing or dishonor towards him. I teach my kids the same thing. I am always willing to listen, but my decision might not change. My kids are negotiators because of that....LOL. The downside to being a very communicative and emotional person is that Im not afraid to speak my mind to whomever I come in contact with. Sometimes....that gets me in trouble...LOL I wish you the best and I think that youre kids are going to be just fine.

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:59 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

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