be a friend to yourself
You can find serenity in teaching your children to be a friend to themselves.  This article is another in a series devoted to sharing lessons I learned and am teaching my children. These lessons are good tips for both children and adults. Previous articles dealt with teaching our children  it’s okay to fail and “get all you can and can all you get.”  In upcoming articles, I will share my ideas on:
The special lesson for today is one I got from my children’s kindergarten teacher, “be a friend to yourself.”  My nine year old son is a fourth grader. When he was in kindergarten his teacher, Mrs. Friedman,  at Gladwyne Elementary School, taught the children  that they had to show themselves good friendship.  Five years later, Mrs. Friedman is the kindergarten teacher for one of my twins and I am thrilled to see she is teaching the children the same lesson.
In order to be a friend to others you must treat yourself as a friend.  This is a fact, plain and simple. It is one simple enough for a brand new kindergarten child to learn. Many adults push this lesson out of their minds with the responsibilities and trials of adulthood. We treat our friends with:
  • courtesy
  • respect
  • kindness
  • dignity
  • understanding


Often, we forget to give ourselves the same treatment and that is a sad thing. If a five year old knows and understands that she should treat herself with respect, she will grow up learning to demand respect from all others with whom she comes into contact. If a five year old grows up learning he should be courteous to himself, he will understand that he should extend courtesy to others. A child who learns to treat herself with kindness will have the tool necessary to show kindness to the world. A kindergarten student who learns he should have a sense of personal  dignity will not lightly destroy the dignity of another.  A little girl who grows up learning she should show herself understanding and compassion will be able to share those ideals with the world at large.

Be a friend to yourself, everyday. Make sure you get the rest you need, the proper food, the proper circle of friends. When you are faced with a question about how you should behave in a certain situation, ask yourself how you would advise someone you care about to act. Figure out what is the best possible advice you could  give in the situation and take it yourself. In all your actions, be a friend to yourself. It is not wrong to be a friend to yourself, it is the bare minimum that you owe yourself as a human being.  Being a friend to yourself is an important lesson for our children and a lesson we should not forget as adults.


In conclusion, by being  a friend to yourself, you make it possible for you to be the best person you can be and thus makes you a better person to have in the world. So, the question for you this serene day is, what are you going to do to show yourself good friendship?


Lessons for Children – Be a Friend to Yourself — 34 Comments

  1. I love all your motivational goodies! I try to set a good example for my boys.

  2. I love your motivational quotes! This one in particular is so true – it goes along the same lines as “No one else will love you until you love yourself.”

  3. What a great lesson to teach young children, and equally applies to adults as well.

  4. One must be a true friend to have a true friend, my mother always said. How true it is.

  5. It took me forever to find out what a true friendship really meant. Friendship means not counting favors or IOUS!

  6. This is very true. I try to be positive as much as possible, sometimes I have to remind myself, so thanks for this.

  7. I retweeted your quote. I think this can be hard for some of us, especially since we, girls mainly, have a tendency to be hard on ourselves. I need to try and be more positive when it comes to ME>

  8. I hope that my daughter learns that with friends sometimes it’s quality over quantity. I hope to teach her what it means to be a good friend and respect everyone.

  9. I choose my friends carefully. I learned that it’s not the number of friends you have but the ones who are true that matters.

  10. What a great lesson here! I think this also applies to grown ups. Teaching this to kids early will make for a well rounded adult

  11. What a great post. I agree that you have to like yourself and treat yourself well and everything else will fall in place. This is a great lesson for children and adults as well.

  12. Oh, this is so good. We are so hard on ourselves…especially as moms. But, we have to remember those lessons for ourselves for sure.

    • You are right. As moms sometimes we are too hard on ourselves and we would never let people treat our friends the way we treat ourselves.

  13. This article reminded me of a beautiful verse from the bible. The golden rule Matthew 7:12 12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
    I always remind my kids to always treat others with love because it glorifies God.

    I didn’t know you have twins, how adorable. I always wanted to have one.

    • The twins are each other’s best friend and it is wonderful to see how they love each other and protect each other.

  14. I totally agree on this article, as the saying goes to become a great leader you should be a great follower first.

  15. Such an awesome lesson for kiddos! It’s very true. The old saying about having to love yourself before you can love others. Very very true.

  16. This was a great read! My kids have lots of issues with school, friends and just kids on the bus. I’ve always tried to teach them all of this but there’s no hurt in refreshing them! Thanks for sharing

  17. What a great lesson to teach children! I think there is not enough focus on showing kids’ their strengths these days and reminding them to treat others as they wish to be treated. Thanks for the reminder!

    • You are right, we do need to make sure children learn the Golden Rule.

    • I was so happy that my kid’s kindergarten teacher taught them that and stressed it throughout the year. It is a good lesson for life.

  18. Love this! I need to learn to be a friend to me. I show my bestie all the love in the world, but I never do the same for myself. Thanks for the lesson, Janeane.

    • Yes, you would not let people bad mouth your friend, so don’t bad mouth yourself. You tell your friend to take time out for herself, you should do the same for yourself. Give yourself and use yourself all the good advice you give to your other friends.

  19. My mother always told me that you can’t love anyone else if you don’t love yourself first. She was very right!

  20. RuPaul says If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? And it’s so true.

Tell me what you think.