Sometime ago JD had an experience with a friend that really hurt him. JD was accused of doing something very naughty that his friend had instigated. The worst thing of all was that his friend had not stood up for JD and let him take the whole blame for the incident.
JD felt quite betrayed by is friend and very hurt. We had already been talking to him before this about what constitutes a good friend and so this incident in some ways was a good experience for him to know first-hand what are the negative results from someone who is not worthy of our friendship. It also enabled us to talk about the characteristics of a good friend and that we shouldn't be willing to accept bad behaviour from others who claim to be our friends, because we deserve to be treated properly.
It was a good if painful learning experience for JD and we've taken the opportunity to talk about situations in his teens when he will be encouraged to do stupid things by people who are not really his friends. JD is keen to be a leader rather than a follower and we continue to encourage him to be embrace his individuality and not follow the herd, and to expect respect from his friends and give it in return.
Recently this old friend of JD's came back into his life. I asked JD if he'd talked to the friend about what happened and why he had chosen to break the friendship. The two had discussed the earlier falling out and seem to have sorted out their differences.
I've spoken to JD about these incidences and show him that while learning experiences can be painful, there is always something that he can gain and grow by from them.
It's pleasing to see that JD really does listen to us and wants to grow into a well-adjusted man. ©