As a father he’d love to hand pick his son’s friends, but really there are three things that matter most.
When I was in high school, I used to skip classes, hang around the mall or at 7-Eleven and smoke. My parents did not approve of the people I hung around with.
It is hard to listen when parents tell you who you should hang out with. I resented it.
As a parent now, it gets ever harder to watch quietly on the sidelines. We have learnt from experience and can forecast what is likely to happen. It is true though, we are not always right.
But this quote says is all. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
When I was in high school, I played football, soccer, and swam and had some friends of that sort. But I also hung around people who smoked and skipped classes. Your grandparents tried to forbid me from hanging out with them. I did not care.
I really became the average of those two groups. I played some sports, but smoking was destructive. I did well in school, but skipping classes took its toll. I lost good friends and made bad ones.
When I look back, my parents were right, for the most part. You will someday look back too, and hopefully you will be looking back at what I’ve written while thinking about your own son or daughter.
At your age, friends come in various forms:
There are the sporty friends. The academic friends. Sometimes a mix of both. Friends that like to play video games. And those that aren’t allowed to. There are friends that love being the center of attention, and those that are shy. There are those who are planning for the future and those who only live in the moment. From big families or broken families. Those that live a clean life and those that take alcohol and drugs. They come in all shapes and sizes.
As a parent I am compelled to say that you should choose friends that are sporty / smart / play some videogames but not too much / outgoing but not wild / driven and plan for their future and stay away from drugs and alcohol etc …
Maybe I can have a look at their resume before you become friends.
I’m kidding but you can’t blame me. I love you and want the best for you. But in truth there are only three things you need to look out for and they’re easy to spot:
Be with people that are kind to others and themselves. A person who does not openly or secretly talk bad or hurt others, including animals and themselves. Make no mistake, drugs and alcohol hurt you.
Be with people that encourage you. A true friend will cheer you on, they will never belittle you. They will pat you on the back when you fail. They will tell you to try again.
Be with people who are looking to explore. Who want to find out more and learn more. I don’t mean just in school. I mean in any field you are interested in. You will drive each other.
That’s it. Three simple traits of people you must surround yourself with.
Oh and most importantly, be a good friend.
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