Learning about friendship from summer camp
What it takes to be a good friend
As a counselor, I often hear about the struggles that campers go through. Being a kid is great but it is not always easy. Campers often ask me questions that are important to them. I do my best to help provide answers. In this blog I am going to take some time to address some of those concerns. The first topic I’m going to talk about is making friends.
One of the most important parts of childhood is developing good friendships. Friends make us feel good, whether we are having fun or going through a bad time. Today, we are going to think about what it takes to be a good friend.
You have to spend time with someone to be their friend. You may like to do activities together or just hang out. It helps if the other person likes to do the same things as you. If you like too many different things you might get bored with each other. For example, if you love video games and sports but your friend hates them you may not have much in common. You don’t even have to be together in person to spend time with each other. Chatting on social media or playing a game online together works as well.
A good friend is loyal. To check whether or not you believe someone is loyal ask the following questions: Is this person going to stick by you when things get tough? If the “popular” kids in school want your friend to do something that will hurt you, will he or she stand their ground? Good friends have each other’s back. Can you depend on this person to be there for you?
Good friends are kind to each other. Does your friend treat you well? Do they call you names or make fun of you? Do you feel better after you spend time with them or do they make you feel worse? If they do not treat you kindly, they are probably not a good friend.
You should feel safe with a good friend. If you do not feel free to share your ideas with them that might be a problem. Are you worried you will be judged if you tell them what you are thinking? It is important that you can be yourself. You can only do that if you feel safe in your relationship.
It Is Two-Sided
A good friendship benefits both of you. Do you respect each other? Do you listen to what each other has to say? Do you both get to choose what you do for fun? If you feel a relationship is too one-sided, it may not be a good friendship.
Fun is an important part of any friendship. You should look forward to seeing your friend and feel good after you spend time with them. A healthy friendship should be more about good times than bad moments.
Friendship takes effort. If you don’t take the time to be there for one another then your friendship won’t last. Ask yourself the following: does your friend do things to show you that they care about you? Are they there for you when you need them? Think about it like owning a plant. You have to take care of the plant or it will die. Similarly, a friendship will not bloom without effort.
There is no better feeling than having a good friend. They will support you no matter what is going on. Although finding a good friend is not easy, it is well worth the effort. Good friends can last a lifetime.