Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Best friends forever.

There are some little pieces of parenting advice that stick with you and can change the course the lives of your children.
When our oldest two were quite small, a dear couple imparted to us perhaps my favorite parenting advice to date.
They have five children, the youngest being a teenager, and all five love each other deeply, protect each other, support each other.  They are the kind of kids you dream of one day having.
When we asked their parents why everyone gets along so well, they simply answered this:
"We have been speaking over them since before they even knew what it meant, that they are all best friends."

That's it.  It is all they have ever known.  The four sisters, and their brother have been raised as best friends.  Best friends that they still are to this day.  It is such a beautiful and inspiring thing to witness, and so very simple.

From that day on we began speaking it over our girls.  When they fought, refused to share, or left one another out, we gently reminded them.  Carsons are best friends.  Best friends no matter what. 

Halley and Lucy get it.  They love each other fiercely.  They share a room, they share toys.  They are rarely apart.  Are they perfect?  Of course not.  But they are pretty awesome. 
Janey is beginning to get it.  She can repeat back to us when asked:
What are Carsons?  Carsons are best friends.
 

I know we are only eight years into this parenting gig.  I know the most challenging years are coming up.  In fact I am reminded of that by fifty billion strangers every single time we are out in public.  (My feelings on that subject for another day.)  But I believe that the hard work that we are putting in now, is laying a foundation that will carry them into the teenage years and beyond. 
Best friends forever.
Download a BFF print in your choice of three colors here.
Speak it over your children.
There is no better friend in the world than the one that shares your home.


36 comments:

  1. I love this! My kids have made their own "BFF club". I can't wait to hang one of these up in their room! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. this made me tear up...love this so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great advice! For my girls, we're at a rough age...one is 9, that I'm annoyed at everything age, and one is 5, that pestery I'm going to talk your ear off til I die age. But considering that they get along well. We don't tolerate any kind of ill will torwards each other. The boys, 10 and 7 are truely best friends. I'm confident the girls will get there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

  5. Love this... I only have 2 girls, and many times I have think what will happen if they don't care of each other... they are only 2!!!...
    Today was one of this days that early in the morning start to fight... At noon I'll talk with them and start this... I'll print your BFF!!!...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I couldn't agree more... We have 4 sons ages 19 to 9 and they are BEST FRIENDS I seriously compare them to Wally and Beaver... The two oldest share a room and always have they are 19 and 17 they shop together, go to lunch and dinner together, and even share friends... It's an AWESOME rock solid relationship... the youngest two are 13 and 9 and they shared a room until about a year ago (my youngest LOVES to collect things, as in tools (and a craftsmen toolbox in his room) and ANYTHING Coca Cola) my 13 year old believes all one really needs is a bed and dresser, to say he is a minimalist is an understatement... so we agreed for them to have separate bedrooms.... However they spend a lot of time together in the 13 years old CLEAN SPOTLESS room, talking and reading... hahaha they are great buddies and I am sooo happy we to have prayed loving friendship over them... It's all they know... The other thing I am a FIRM believer in is praying for their future spouses... I was taught that as a child... My parents prayed for my husband and encouraged me to do the same... I proud to say I have been married (this year, 22 years) I'm talking a BEYOND amazing I still get butterflies kind of marriage!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love this advice! As I want to have more children someday I will be filing this away. ;) I do find that older parents in my church give the best parenting advice. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes indeed! We have 3 kids; 2 girls(12 and 10) 1 boy(6) and this is what we have done for them. We taught them that they are each others treasure and that in order to value a friend outside the home, they had to value their God-given treasure/sibling! They totally get it, but of course they are siblings. They love hard and sometimes annoy each other even more. It is a beautiful journey that we are blessed to be on.

    Cheers to you and your family! Thank you for the wonderful reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is so good. I have often worried that if we don't have all of our kids close together in age then they wont be best friends. I'm realizing it has less to do with age and more to do with how we create the bond between them, these words being just that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, the teenage years can be hard, but they don't have to be THAT hard. With the sort of groundwork you are laying, your children are sure to be respectful people who make good choices. Best friends. That is great advice. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love this SO much! Starting this today. Thanks, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  12. beautifully stated!! This is something that we too enforce with our girls (13 &10) they annoy each other like crazy yet fiercely defend, love and protect each other everyday! Thank you for the beautiful words that will be printed and posted in our family room! You and your family rock!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes!! We say this all the time! I have been drilling into their heads for years, "you guys are best friends. you will always have each other....etc. " love it! preach it sister. and yay for the download!! thank you. {also, i hear you on the strangers and i'm sure i know what they are saying....love unsolicited advice & comments. it's awesome.}

    ReplyDelete
  14. love this. thanks for the sweet reminder to encourage them in this :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Julie - this is so true. And you will reap the benefits when these beautiful children get older. My oldest son is 29 and my girls are 25 and 23. The girls and I hang out all the time, in fact the last Mother's Day card I got from my 25 year old said that I was her best friend. :) Do they get along and agree all the time? Of course not, but for the most part - they love eachother and have fun whenever we're together. My son still picks on and teases his sisters just like when they were little. Just warms a momma's heart, ya know? :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. such beautiful and perfect advice.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love this. So beautiful and so true. My kids have been going through an exceptionally rough season as sibs. I must remind them many times a week/day that they are each other's best friend. I totally agree with speaking it over them, again and again, as they grow. Would love for them to be buddies for ever, no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is great, I haven't worded it like that with my boys, just that family is about building each other up, not tearing each other down, that when they grow up they're going to be so thankful to have someone who they can completely trust, etc. But I'm going to start using the BFF now too! : )

    ReplyDelete
  19. I AGREE! and it works- claiming this truth over them, guiding them in having a healthy friendship with each other, modeling value, speaking blessing (affirmation, encouragement, kindness) into each other, and as they get older (as mine are) watching them confide in each other. what a gift it is to us parents!

    you are blessed.

    btw- they can have this with their brother, too. noah's b.f's are his little sisters.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That is awesome! Exactly the way we feel in our family. One of the many reasons we choose to unschool, so that our children will have lasting friendships with their siblings and parents. The school system segregates them, almost always…maybe not twins? We've never called our children BFFs, love that, and want to change that, like NOW. Thanks for sharing and I hope that you are having a super amazing, rad week!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love that. We had similar advice long before there was ever a Boomer or Savanah. Our friends also taught us to "bring them to righteousness" when one of them makes a wrong choice (cuz we all do) rather than telling on the other. Our kids, three years apart fight fiercely for one another and gently help the other make the best choices without seeming bossy. Not sure how it all worked out that way, and its not all sunshine and roses, but watching them grow and mature and be one another's best friend is one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you so much for this! We have just started to say similar things to Shayla about Coral. Thank you thank you thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love it! I have 6 kiddos and we tell them the same thing- thanks for the printable- what a great visual for the kiddos. You are inspiring-thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. i love this julie!
    such great advice.
    thanks for the reminder...
    printing today:)
    have a happy day

    ReplyDelete
  25. yes, yes, yes... simple, true and it works!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I affirm the truth of your wisdom. We tried to instill that in our girls, but now (ages 22, 25 and 30), they are adrift and hurting each other, due to relationships with some unsaved persons. It hurts so much.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I've always tried to get this concept across with my kids too. Just so happened that after reading this yesterday I had an opportunity to say "Rissers are best friends". DD#2 looked at me and said "with who?" hahaha

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love this. Thanks you so much. I've started it with my 2 boys, 4 and 2, now. I mean, we've always tried something to get them (really, just my 4 year old) to 'get it' but he didn't. But using the words 'best friends'? He gets that, and I love it. I want my kids to be friends forever. before anyone. for eachother. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    (and ps- my husband and I are headed out your way for the Disneyland 1/2 this weekend and a much needed no kiddo vacation. have any 'must check out' places to recommend?)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Our 18 yo is so helpful and willing to play with his 10, 7, and 5 yo siblings. It is wonderful. Not always perfect, but wonderful. As for the teen years ahead, there are challenges. But when you started having babies, you didn't exactly know how to handle each thing that came up. You just dealt with it as it came along, with lots of trial and error! I think the same could be said for teenagers. There is no one-size-fits-all guidebook (besides the Bible!), so you just keep going and pray for God's guidance. The challenges aren't really worse, just new and different. And you can't really pick up your teen and remove them from the room when you don't like how they are behaving! But it makes a nice mental picture, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  30. excellent advise! i love that.
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love this so much friend!! I'm going to start speaking this more into my children's lives. This picture of your girls loving on each other is so cute!! I love their fierce love for each other.

    ReplyDelete
  32. love this... thanks! i was looking for a quote for a picture i just took of my 2 girls and i love the one you said...
    "There is no better friend in the world than the one that shares your home."
    i enjoy reading your blog! thanks for spreading some sunshine.



    ReplyDelete
  33. this is positively fantastic.

    if i ever have kids, this will be our motto.

    thanks for letting me steal it for my hypothetical children.

    ReplyDelete
  34. thank you for this. for all of this. i need to remind my children more often that they are all best friends...and i need to send a package to my best friend who i haven't talked to in a while. life gets busy but she's my best friend no matter what!

    ReplyDelete

I love sunshine, happy people, and the power to delete. Sparkles! Rainbows! Unicorns!