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By Kaitlynn Christiansen


From the time we are young children all the way into adulthood, relationships play a major role in our lives. There are three types of relationships that generally impact our lives: our family relationships, our romantic relationships, and finally, our friendships. Out of the three, our friendships are uniquely important for our growth and our happiness. Teaching children the importance of being a good friend, and choosing good friends will help prepare them to form lasting friendships with people they meet on their journey through life. 


Teaching Our Kids to Be Good Friends

One of the most important lessons we can teach our children about friendships is how to be a good friend. We can help our children recognize good friendship qualities in themselves and help them strengthen any they might struggle with. Some of those qualities are:

  • The ability to connect with others even if they are different from us.

Friendship isn’t about being exactly the same, it is about connection and forming lasting bonds. 

  • The ability to see a need and fulfill it. 

Some of the best friendships are formed through acts of loving service. Teach your child to look for those who sometimes blend into the background. It’s okay to reach out and offer friendship.

  • The ability to be genuine. 

People admire honesty and sincerity. Teach your children that it is always best to be themselves.  

  • The ability to have empathy.

We are asked to “mourn with those that mourn” and “comfort those who stand in need of comfort.”

  • The ability to communicate well by talking and listening.

In order to be a good friend, you need to be a listening ear and offer advice. We are such a media-focused society, so it’s also important to teach your children that communication face-to-face is a great skill to have. 


How to Choose Good Friends

President Thomas S. Monson said, “Friends help to determine your future. You will tend to be like them and to be found where they choose to go. Remember, the path we follow in this life leads to the path we follow in the next.” Along with teaching our children how to be good friends, we need to teach them how to choose good friends.

  • Teach them the importance of mutual respect.

Respect is such an important aspect of a relationship that is often overlooked. A true friend will respect every part of you, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. 

  • Remind them of the importance of choosing friends with similar standards. 

President Monson continues, “In a survey… we learned a most significant fact. Those persons whose friends married in the temple usually married in the temple, while those persons whose friends did not marry in the temple usually did not marry in the temple.”Those who have the same standards that you do are more likely to help you uphold them. 

  • Teach them to surround themselves with people who help make them truly happy.


It is a struggle especially in your preteen and teenage years to find friends who truly make you happy.We need to help our children learn to recognize what environments make them truly happy and help them feel peace.Friendships should not be constantly draining, frustrating, and causing you distress. 

Joseph Smith Jr. said, “I would esteem it one of the greatest blessings, if I am to be afflicted in this world, to have my lot cast where I can find brothers and friends all around me.” In our lives we will all experience these afflictions and trials. We can help our children build their support systems by teaching them how to be a good friend and to find good friends. 


For more ideas on how to help children learn about developing positive qualities, check out our book: 30 Days to a Stronger Child


Kaitlynn Christiansen is an elementary teacher who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She loves to learn and is passionate about educating families about healthy relationships. 



Monson, T. S. (2014, March 1). How to choose good friends. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Rasband, R. A. (2016, October 1). True friendship. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Smith, J. (2009, September 1). Friendship. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 


Friendships are Important!

“Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’; [it is designed] to revolutionize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers.” – Joseph Smith Jr.

Helping your child navigate life is easier with this book!

30 Days to a Stronger ChildThis book teaches concepts of physical health, emotional strength, social skills, spiritual balance, and intellectual growth. There are activities, discussions, and questions that will help you raise a more resilient, and stronger child.  Check out our book, 30 Days To A Stronger Child

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