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The Impacts of Environment on Children - Part 1

1. Friends and Peers

Friends and peers are very influential on the formation of the characteristics of children. Children, especially in adolescence and young age, spend lots of time with their friends. This causes them to learn from each other a lot.

Imam Ali cares about this matter a lot and he recommends his children to choose good friends. He told his son, Imam Hassan, “Before asking about the path you are going to take, ask about the characteristics of your accompanies in that way.”?

He also told Muhammad Honaifeh, “Son! One of the things human beings can take the most out of, is to have good friends and good companions. Spend time with good people, so that you become one of them. And stay away from the evil doers and those who prevent you from thinking about God by worthless words and practices, so that you do not become one of them.”?

He stated to his son, Imam Hassan, “Son! Do not be friends with ignorant people, because they take away what you really need, do not be friends with the evil doers, as they betray you easily, and do not be friends with those who lie, as they are like mirages who make you believe that what is far away is close, and what is close is far away from you.”?

Parents can affect and help their children indirectly in finding friends.

Imam Ali said that parents should make friends with good families who have good children, so that the children will become friends too. He said, “The friendship between fathers gets the children close too.”?

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