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Only friends with good character are worthy of investment!

Parents want to teach their children to be kind, polite and respectful to others so that they will be well liked. This does help in their future success. But being polite and respectful and being friends are two very different things both with long term repercussions.

You want to teach your child to be a peace maker but not a people pleaser. The Bible calls it a snare or a trap. Proverbs 29:25. A character focus is highly important to differentiate between the two. So find a list of character qualities and go over it with your children. Some lists show the character quality and what it looks like when misused and when used correctly. This helps us see we may have that quality already but are just misusing it. Focus your family on one character quality a week and give rewards for steps taken to develop that character. This will be an excellent focus for you as well. Keep focusing and working on that yourselves until you can grade yourselves at least an 8 on a scale of 1-10 then choose another to focus on.

Now you can make a list of characters a good friend should have, to be worthy of our investment of time and energy. Your child must develop these also in order to be a good friend to this person as well. A fun way to develop this is to watch movies together and then discuss who in the movie was a worthy friend and who wasn't. Talk about why and why not (character and actions, a giver or a taker). We did this movie exercise with our grandchildren from the time they were toddlers. They are now very giving and discerning teens that surprise adults with their wisdom. So teach a child to greet all people respectfully and kindly; to be aware and to give to others' needs. Never allow a child to rudely refuse to speak to someone politely just because they are shy. That is not an excuse for rude unkindness. But teach them to be very discerning about the character of those they call friends . Proverbs 12:26 "The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray."

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