We were never meant to simply survive parenthood. So make it your goal to enjoy the journey by doing everything you can to develop a winning friendship with your child.
Have you ever watched the reality television show, "Survivor"? A group of people start out together on a journey, where they encounter challenging situations meant to eliminate them one by one. The goal is to see who will "survive" to win the game.

As parents, we too face challenging situations—but the difference is God wants each one of us not only to survive, but to enjoy the journey!

And one of the ways we do that is by enjoying friendship with our children. There are some who say you can't be friends with your child. But if God, our Father, calls us His friends, why should it be any different with our child?

The definition of friendship is to share interests, activities, feelings or experiences with another person. So what will make you a good friend to your child?

Share Their Interests and Activities.
Proverbs 18:24 says that, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly." Just saying to your child, "I'm your friend," doesn't cut it. You won't convince them you're their friend by your words, but by your actions.

Spend time with both your sons and daughters doing the things they like to do. Play trucks with your son, or dress up dolls with your daughter. Build Lego spaceships, shoot hoops outside or toss a football, or join in finger painting or playing with Play Dough.

You can't always do everything your child wants you to do, but make time to share their interests as much as you possibly can. You may be surprised at how much fun you have!

We're all drawn to friends who want to spend time with us doing the kinds of things we like to do. If you had a friend who, whenever you called, said "I don't want to do that!" or "I'm too busy— maybe another time," you would probably quit calling and find another friend.

And what if that same person showed up on your doorstep ten years later and said, "Hey, now I want to be your best friend." That's what some parents do! They want to suddenly be their 19-year-old's friend, but they haven't developed the friendship through shared interests and activities all along the way.

That doesn't mean it's too late, but they've wasted a lot of precious years when they could have been building a solid foundation for their friendship.

Laugh With Them.
I don't know about you, but I love having friends whom I can laugh with. And kids do, too. They love it when you laugh at their knock-knock jokes and silly riddles. Don't be such a stick in the mud.

You probably told the same corny jokes when you were their age, and you thought they were really funny, too! See the humor in the things they say and do when they're trying to have fun with you.

Believe in Them and Encourage Them to Follow Their Dreams.
There are going to be countless times when your child will say to you, "I can't do that," or "I'm never going to be able to reach that goal, so why even try!" It's our job as parents to believe in them, to lovingly help them to keep on going and keep on dreaming.

Parents, don't let anyone tell you that you can't be a friend to your child. But it won't happen just because you want it to happen.

It'll take a sacrifice of your time. You may have to sacrifice some of your interests in favor of theirs, you'll need to take the time to share activities with them, you'll need to choose to believe in them, and you'll need to keep a good sense of humor.

We were never meant to simply survive parenthood. So make it your goal to enjoy the journey by doing everything you can to develop a winning friendship with your child.

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