The family is the basic unit in a society. It is vital in shaping the future of an individual because it is the support system that holds the individual on to. The family is the first teachers in the life of a child. This is where the child is honed with its character, values and beliefs in life. They are the inspiration to any endeavour of an individual (buzzle. com). On the other hand, friends too are as important as the family. They are the support which most hold dear onto. They can be included as part of the family because they are regarded as close to everyone.
Creating or making friends with anyone is a fruit of the family values which was incurred over time. This was not an inborn character of anyone but was learned through the teachings of the family and the character that is shown by the parents to their children. Making friends is not also an easy task. You have the option to choose whom do you want to make friends with. Friends do things together. They are friends because they saw in each other the values they look for in a person. This is not an easy task though. But more than friends it will entail a lot.
Friendship requires trust, loyalty, having common interest and believing that no matter what happens they will be there for each other for the rest of their lives. This is difficult, yes, but it is true also that this should be taken into account by anyone who is serious with keeping friends for life (Ellison, C. 1990, p 298). A lot has been written about the issue on family and friendships but never delve deeper into it. In one of the topics that should be taken is that a successful family life prepares one for lasting friendships.
I will be listing the reasons why still the family is vital factor in changing someone’s values, character and beliefs, their interaction with other people Family, as what I have mentioned earlier, is the shaper of the future of a child. Parents in particular teach their child to be more interactive. From the time they are born into this world they are taught how to make friends with other kids. One of the activities that are done is activities that require get-together of the neighbourhood kids. Even before they are born they are friends already because their moms or their dads are friends.
This is how they start the friendship of the kids (Ellison, C. 1990, 299-300). In a happy family life, friendship is started among the siblings. They show to the kids that they are treated the same. They are treated fairly whatever happens because the parents want to show to their kids that they are unique and possess unique characters. They are taught how to share with their other siblings. They always inculcate in the minds of the children that they need people; they need friends in the long run.
It is often said that it is okay to be alone sometimes but it is not okay to be lonely that is why maybe friends are created (Ellison, C. 1990, 302). The family prepares an individual how to deal life’s challenges in the long run. In the family, they are taught with chores where their patience, trust and loyalty will be tested. This may not be known to the kids but their parents are shaping them to be a better person as they go out to the world where there are many challenges they will encounter (Ellison, C. 1990, p 305-306).
The family builds the self-esteem of a child. Making them unique in any way is very important in boosting the self-esteem and confidence of a child. Weighing things whenever they make mistake is very important in building their self-esteem especially when they are asked to explain things why they did those things. Through this they will be given the chance to explain and discuss what they want their parents know. This will build also the confidence to any child to open up to their parents not thinking of getting scolded by the parents (Franco, N. Levitt, MJ. 1998 p.
315). For a friendship to lasts, trust and loyalty are important factors in making friendship work. These also are shaped in the family as well. The family builds trust to a child when they also trust their kids that they can do anything. It is the conviction of the parents to build this character because it is very important to any interaction outside the family (Franco, N. Levitt, MJ. 1998 p. 315). Friendship is also defined as the “habitual way of relating to a person. ” Being friends and making friends is a mutual feeling between two people or among people.
It is said that friends do not come as a surprise but they are chosen as friends (Franco, N. Levitt, MJ. 1998 p. 316). Although it is has been said that the family shapes the character of a person and how they interact with their peers but it is argued that it is the kids or the people who chooses whom they be friends at. According to C. S. Lewis building friendships is not about mutual interests but being interested with one another. This is difficult though but can be a learning experience to anyone who wants to build long lasting friendships (Franco, N.
Levitt, MJ. 1998, p. 317). In a family children are taught with responsibility. In friendships it requires responsibility and expectation. This is common to any friendship but it is difficult to build. If the child or the teenager is taught within the family they will bring it as soon as they get out of their homes and especially their comfort zones (Franco, N. Levitt, MJ. 1998, p. 317). Friendship also requires a lot of expectations. It may not be as difficult as entering into a marriage but it is like entering into a relationship for the first time.
People have been talking about friendship since time immemorial but a lot of writers such as Aristotle, Cicero, and Augustine tried to debunk the issue that to have a successful friendship should also entail a successful family life. According to these writers, character and virtue is as important as what is developed inside the homes where families teach to their kids. They argue that you don’t have to be a good man or good woman to be a good cook which means that the character is shaped because of what they are in the society. As much as the same with friendship you don’t have to be a good man to be a good friend (Franco, N.
Levitt, MJ. 1998, p. 317). People like Aristotle, Cicero, and Augustine believed that character strength was essential to friendship – so much so that, as they saw it, one cannot truly be a friend without it. C. S. Lewis, on the other hand, thought virtue was irrelevant to friendship. As he saw it, friendship “makes good men better – and bad men worse. ” (Franco, N. Levitt, MJ. 1998, p. 318) A lot of things can happen when someone commits to be a friend to someone. Making friends is a responsibility to one another such as longer interactions compared to just friends they just met in a club or a meeting.
Naturally, closer friends leading to a closer friendship assume more responsibility for one another than do those who are merely casual friends. Besides assuming responsibility for one another, we also begin to have expectations of one another. If I tell my friend something in confidence, I have the expectation that he or she won’t reveal my secrets to others.
That’s just one example of the expectations we have of friends. One can easily think of others (Franco, N. Levitt, MJ. 1998, p. 319-321). In addition to that, as to what have been said by C. S Lewis, making friends is not about carrying the character that should be in a person and sharing it but sharing the common interest they have and giving out what they can to other person. Activities where they share the same interest can build a deeper relationship thus creating a long lasting friendship. This is what they want to teach that friendships are gained not learned (Halfacre, F. P. D. 1997). This is true to some but still I want to emphasise that characters and virtues that are honed within the family is still the best in building friendships outside the world.
Children cannot teach their children to choose their friends but they teach them how to interact with their playmates. They teach the kids how to enjoy life without hurting their playmates rather helping their playmates understand the value of life and later as they age they will pass it to their children and grandchildren. Parents do not let the kids choose their friends but they teach them to understand that having friends should be mutual. Mutual interests, activities and works can lead to better relationships which in a way building relationship within one’s self (Halfacre, F. P. D. 1997).
Conclusion Friends can be anyone. They can be the neighbours around. They can be the co-workers, playmates, common friends and acquaintances but building a long lasting friendship is difficult. It requires time and understanding. Through time, building a long lasting friendship is also a process because it entails passion with the person. Passion means knowing the person fully and wholly and knowing the interests, likes, dislikes and among other things that can lead to better relationship. Friendships are better when it is shared with someone who has the same passion as what you wanted it to be.
References Ellison, C. 1990. Family Ties, Friendships, and Subjective Well-Being among Black Americans Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 52, No. 2 pp. 298-310. Franco, N. Levitt, MJ. 1998. The Social Ecology of Middle Childhood: Family Support, Friendship Quality, and Self-Esteem. Family Relations, vol. 47 number 4, pp315-321 Buzzle. com. Intelligent life on the web. Available at http://www. buzzle. com/chapters/home-and-lifestyle_friendships-and-familial-relationships. asp Halfacre, F. P. D. 1997. Genuine Friendship. Available at http://www. genuinefriendship. com/