You may have heard the saying, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with” or “The five people around you are determining your success.” This suggests that the environment we are surrounded by has a direct impact on who we become and the way we behave. This starts with childhood, and making sure that our kids are impacted by good people can be a challenge in today’s culture.
As parents and caretakers, we can’t choose who our kids connect with the most. However, we can encourage them to make good choices, provide some guardrails for their relationships, and place them in environments that encourage Godly relationships. In this blog, we discuss why it’s so important to intentionally identify healthy relationships for your kids and how to determine who those people should be.
Why Does it Matter?
At different seasons of their lives, your kids are going to look to other people for guidance, support, and to answer some big life questions. So, it’s imperative that they have healthy relationships surrounding them as the other voices — besides their parents — to influence them.
It’s important that your kids build a firm foundation in their faith and with other relationships while they are still under your roof. You will feel much more comfortable when you drop your son or daughter off at college if you feel confident in this. Did you know that 75% of Christian teens leave their faith when they attend college? We can help avoid this by building a strong foundation and encouraging outside perspectives and role models that will have a lasting impact on them, whether they’re at home or not.
Identify the Attributes
When determining the influential people you want in your child’s life, you must identify what attributes are important to you. Do they share the same values as you? Are they trustworthy and intentional with building relationships? Do they already have a natural bond with your child? Do they live in close proximity? Start making a list of what is important to you.
There are 3 different categories when it comes to a child’s development: emotional, educational, and spiritual. Ideally, the top five people of influence in your child’s life will cover all three of these areas.
Identify the People
Look around — who would make the most positive impact in your child’s life? These could be your child’s friends, your friends, Sunday School teachers, youth group leaders, community leaders, teachers, tutors, neighbors, a grandma, or a cousin.
Friends have a powerful influence on our kids, and can be a great way of identifying a positive influence that your child will be able to directly relate to. So, get to know your kids’ friends!
Adult mentors can often provide a safe outlet for kids to talk about difficult things that they may not feel comfortable talking to their parents about. Did you know that the benefit of mentorship increases as kids grow into young adults? Young adults with a mentor are 130% more likely to hold leadership positions and are 55% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school.
At Bible2School, we are passionate about the importance of building strong relationships within your circle of influence. And, we believe this is even more important for children. If you want to hear more about this topic, listen to our podcast episode, Building a Healthy Adult Support System for Children.
Did you know that our program encourages deep and meaningful conversations with the SAME small group leader every week? For many kids, this is the most influential relationship in their life. If you’re interested in making a direct impact by being a positive influence in a child’s life, learn more about volunteering with Bible2School!
Relevant Bible Verses
“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:33
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
– Proverbs 27:17
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
– Hebrews 13:7