What do you think of Gilderoy Lockhart? I’m not sure that our family has met anyone that would love to invite him over for dinner. Have you noticed how everyone is treating him.
- Professor Sprout is annoyed with him and gives him bad stares
- Harry and Ron groan at the thought of having to listen to him
- The other students think he’s a joke
How would you react if you had to talk to someone like Professor Lockhart? Would you be polite and listen to him?
Our family noticed that Lockhart only seems to talk about one thing – himself. He tells Professor Sprout how well he could repair the Whomping Willow. He talks with Harry Potter about his fame. He tries to prove to his class that he is very brave and daring. He even gives his students an exam that contains questions about himself.
Professor Lockhart is driving people away because he talks about himself too much. He doesn’t appear to have any friends except for his own reflection in the mirror.
However, it can be hard to make friends. When you’re a foster kid, adopted kid, or a kid with a special need, other people can just think you’re plain weird. To be honest though it can be hard to make friends for several reasons that are our fault:
- We move around from home to home so much that it’s hard to learn how to make friends.
- We don’t want to make friends because we know we’ll move to a new house anyways.
- We want friends but we just know that people will think we’re weird if they know about our past in our biological home.
Our adopted kids agreed that making friends could be scary. You might have some people that think you’re weird. Some people might make fun of you because they don’t understand why you’re scared of the dark still. However, as one of my kids said, “Trusting people can be very, very scary but all good stuff comes from trusting people.”
What are some ways to make friends?
- Ask people questions about themselves
Don’t JUST tell people about your favorite movie or favorite Wii game. Ask them what their favorite movie is or what they like to do on the weekend.
- Listening is important
Whenever you’re with people that you want to make friends with, use your ears more than you use your mouth. Listen to them talk about their weekend so you can find out more about someone’s family and friends. You’ll find out what things you have in common.
- Show interest in their conversation
When you come upon a few people talking about something, don’t be like Gilderoy and make the conversation about you. Listen to what people are already talking about and then compliment them or ask a question about THEIR conversation.
- Kind words are the best
Other people usually don’t want to be around people that talk bad about them. There is nothing wrong with telling someone that you would like to be friends with them because they’re really good at basketball or dance or whatever. You’ll actually make the other person feel special.
- Don’t force someone to be your friend
Look. There are a lot of people in the world with different likes and dislikes. Not everyone is going to want to be your friend – AND THAT’S OK. There are other people that will want to be your friend. For some kids it hurts their feelings when someone doesn’t get along with them so they try harder to be their friend. You’ll actually make the other person more upset when you won’t leave them alone. Remember. It’s ok to feel bad that the friendship didn’t work out BUT there are other people to build relationships. One great and safe friendship is better than twenty just okay friendships.
Now It’s Your Turn:
Dana just moved in with her adoptive parents. She gets along great with her mom and dad. She just really wants friends that are her age to hangout with rather than spending time with her parents all the time. There are other girls Dana’s age in her new neighborhood. Dana always sees the other girls talking and having fun. Dana really admires the way they do each other’s hair with really cool ribbons and most of them also seem to be really good at playing baseball. They all seem nice enough but Dana is really nervous to talk with them.
Dana is really scared of the dark even though she is eleven years old. Some bad things happened to her in her biological home during the night. She doesn’t like to remember her biological home and doesn’t really want to talk about those things much. However, she doesn’t know what to do if the other girls were to find out about her fear of the dark and her past. To make things more complicated Dana has heard that the other girls are planning an overnight party. The mother of one of the girls asked Dana’s mom if she would like to join the girls.
- What would you do if you were Dana?
- Should Dana try to make friends? Why?
- How would you make friends?
- How could Dana’s mom help her in this situation?
- What are some good questions Dana could ask to make friends?
- What are some compliments Dana could tell the other girls?