Helping Your Kids to Be Best Friends & Better Mom Monday’s Link-up!!

Helping Your Kids to Be Best Friends (NOT a bad link)

I grew up with one brother who was four years younger than me. I clearly remember he had a T-shirt that said, “Trouble Is My Middle Name.” And that’s pretty much how I thought of Ronnie during my growing-up years. He messed up my toys. He pulled my hair. He spit on me. Yuck.

I remember when John and I first started dating. John asked about how my brother and I got along. I told him we didn’t. I told John my brother had been a pest when we were little, and then John looked at me puzzled. “Did you ever invite him to play with you?” Uh, no. Honestly, I’d never thought of that! I was focused on my play, and I wanted him to stay away.

Then, I had my own kids, and one of my goals was for kids to become friends. Great friends.

I homeschooled Cory, Leslie, and Nathan from preschool through high school. They were with each other every day and had no choice but spend “quality time” together. They are grown now, ages 23, 20 and 18, and they are great friends. We enjoy the moments we spend together, and whenever we sit around and chat they share memory after memory of the ups and downs they had together as kids. (Even now I hear about trouble they got into that they hid from me all these years!)

And would you believe we’re starting all over again? Through adoption we have three little ones in our house, ages 5, 3, and 2. I still have the same desire to raise children as best friends, but now I remember how very hard it is to . . . make . . . kids . . . get along. Best friends?! Sometimes I hope we’ll survive through the day.

Yet even as my kids are getting used to their new brothers and sisters, here are some things I’m focusing on:

  1. Set Guidelines. The first thing kids fight over is what’s “fair.” When rules are set and enforced equally for everyone, then kids know there will be no playing favorites. When parents provide the same affection, discipline, and praise to each child, children have a chance to have positive relationships with each other.

  2. Build a sense of “team.” Even from the first day our newly adopted kids joined our family, John and I told them that they were ours forever and were now part of the Goyer team. We encourage team spirit. We tell them we work together as teammates. We play like team members, too. We stick up for each other, and we turn to God to be our coach.

  3. We focus on time together. We limit each child to one extra-curricular activity a year. We focus on family dinners. We have times of independent play, but we also have times when the kids play together with coloring or play dough or blocks. Yes, there will be fighting, but as my kids interact, I get the chance to guide their interactions.

  4. We pray. We pray for wisdom. We pray for our kids’ hearts to be turned to each other. We pray that God will give us wisdom. And when I turn to Him, He is always faithful to do just that.

What about you? How do you help your kids be best friends?


Tricia Goyer,


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  1. says

    Oh how lovely to be able to adopt! How blessed you are! I would love to but we’re in our mid 50′s and I suppose we’re just too old now (although our oldest is getting married and we’ll have an extra bedroom, lol)

    Our kids are best friends too and we homeschooled as well. As they got older that four year age difference became bigger and bigger. So we required them to play together for 30 minutes every day at a set time.

    They took turns every day deciding what game they were going to play. We wanted them to play games because that requires communication and cooperation.

    Thanks so much for hosting today.

  2. says

    Our kids are still young (3 and 1), but I love how they are already good friends, and I hope that lasts. :) Thank you so much for hosting the link up — and deepest apologies for screwing up my links and having to post a second one. I hope y’all will bear with me. I feel like such a doofus!

    Happy Monday!

  3. says

    It is so neat to hear of couples who are willing to adopt after their other children are grown, what a sacrifice, and completely against what our culture says you “should” be doing once your kids leave the house. We have a large family, all of our kids are best friends. There are times they argue, like all siblings, but your right, homeschooling provides a great environment for me to be there to help them learn how to deal with their frustrations and disagreements. I agree too that limiting activities really helps facilitate closeness between siblings, if they are around each other more than other kids, it is more likely they will be close friends. I love it when I hear my kids laughing and talking together, it is a precious sound. Thanks for your post, and thanks for hosting!

  4. says


    So nice to meet you! I had not heard of you before and I look forward to reading some of your books. So great you have 3 more little ones to raise up for His glory!!

    I have homeschooled my 3 children, now 22, 19 and 17 all the way through, too. Loved it! That is the first start to being best friends! Age segregated activities separate families and don’t promote being best friends. Also, along with prayer, we trained our children to be quick to repent and make up. “I’m sorry, will you please forgive me” has always been huge in our home. Even me to them! :) Thanks for sharing this post, I enjoyed it!

    Blessings, Gloria @The Resourceful Gals

  5. Lisa Jacobson says

    Such good advice on developing friendships in the home. I especially liked what you said about limiting activities. Even though it can feel like you’re “missing out”, you’re really gaining more. Thank you!

  6. Amy S says

    The only thing I disagree with is telling the kids we are fair. We are not fair, we are not required to be fair. God is not fair. We won’t play favorites. However, teaching them that everyone must be fair is setting them up for disappointment (or failure) once they get into the real world.


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