The positive relationship mindset makes you to train your children to only allow friends and significant others in their lives to affect their lives positively. This mindset is reflected in the way you make your children to know that relationship matters. Let them know that the people you relate with in life are some of the most important determinants of your destiny. The friends they relate with matters, whoever they look up to as role model matters, also their partner in marriage is very important. The behavior of any adult is determined by two factors; genetics and environment. In other words, all your behavior is shaped by the genes you inherited from your parents and the people that you interact with as you are growing up which constitutes your environment. Taken that there is not much a child can do about what he has already inherited, the relationships that your children are exposed to may be selectively attended to by you. For instance, you need to be selective about friends they keep especially when they are still at home. Once they leave home, it may be relatively difficult to affect their choice of relationships. Also, you have to pay attention when they are at home because the friends they will keep after leaving home may be determined by the foundation that has been laid for them while at home. Some of the teachings which may be useful at this stage are briefly discussed below:
Friends as Determinants of future well being.
Your future well being may be determined to a large extent by friends you keep and people that you fall under their sphere of influence. If you make them to realize this while they are still under your influence, it will help them in choosing quality friends by the time they leave home. Let them know that friends have great potential to change their outlook on life and their responses and the way they respond to situations. They should therefore know and be able to practice the principle of separation due to destination; that is, if a friend is not going in the same destination with you, it is better to separate from him so that you won’t end up at his own destination.
Friends Should not erase who you are.
Let them know also that they should be real to themselves. They should not try to hide their identity while they are with friends because that may make them susceptible to being negatively influenced. For instance, if your son on gaining admission to the university decides that he doesn’t want his friends to be seeing him always with the Bible so that they would not be teasing him, it is just a matter of time for him to deviate from the Christian foundation which you gave him at home.
Every friend is transient.
Let your child know that friends are transient in nature, none of them is permanent. However close a friend is to you, one day, the juncture of separation will come.
Many of those that he is relating with while at school will fade out at graduation, many of those that do not fade out will lose their relevance once you get married. Friends that last throughout your lifetime are so rare that they are almost non existent. Consequently, while you may encourage good friends who may influence them positively, they need to realize that they should hold themselves responsible for their way of life, they should not allow friends to dictate the way to do things. Their joy or fulfillment should not be dependent on their friends because they are human beings who has the tendency to disappoint though sometimes unknowingly.
You also need to make them to realize that behind many ruined destinies are friends who those lives thought were doing them good.
The only permanent friend friend who will be with you throughout your life and even till eternity is Jesus Christ. It therefore becomes imperative to know him and continually be His friend.
Your Spouse Will Be Your Longest Serving Friend or Enemy.
This mindset will make you to teach your children that the spouse will be their longest serving friend or enemy. This will make them to be careful when time comes to decide about it. Let them know that on the average, they will spend at least two thirds of their entire lifetime with their life partner, if it is so then they have to be careful of their choice of life partner. Since your spouse will be your longest serving friend or foe, it means that if your spouse is a friend, the journey will be a continuous experience of pleasure but if your spouse is an enemy, then you need to be pitied. Consequently, the choice of whom to marry is one of the most important decisions you have to make in life.
Your Friends Should Not Be Regarded As An Extra Tyre.
Most people make use of their friends the way they treat the extra tyre of their car. Hardly do you check the state of your extra tyre until you need it. One day, I had flat tyre on a journey and I remembered immediately that I have an extra tyre in my boot. I confidently opened the boot, but unfortunately though the tyre was there, it had gone flat. Had it been that I occasionally checked on my extra tyre, it would not have disappointed me the way it did that day. You teach them that people that are useful for you should not just be called when you need them, check on their welfare once in a while, so that by the time you need them, they may still be available for you.
Dr. Mike Oluniyi