Tip of the Week: In his words. Friendship

April 13, 2018

Many of the students at Latham Centers come with the experience of never having true friendships. One of the most incredible things to witness is when a new student comes to us and quickly starts to make connections with their peers and get the experience of friendship for the first time. Patrick has been with us for several years and he shows his wisdom and kind heartedness in his conversation with me below: 

Patrick: I think I should teach kids how to be a good friend. 

Patrice: What would you teach them? 

Patrick: I would teach them that even if you think you won’t have any friends you shouldn’t worry because one day you will. I used to think that I wouldn’t have friends so I would let people be mean to me because I didn’t want to be alone at school. 

Patrice: When did you let people be mean to you? 

Patrick: At my last school. Even if I didn’t really like them I would let them be my friend and now I have a lot of people to choose from so I can only be friends with the people that I like. 

Patrice: So you can make better decisions now because you have options? 

Patrick: Yes, I’m not desperate so I can pick who I want to be friends with. 

Patrice: What kind of people do you pick now? 

Patrick: People who make me happy, make me laugh, people who like me. 

Patrice: There are a lot of kids here who like you. 

Patrick: I know. 

Patrice: So what would you say to other kids who don’t have as many options as you do? 

Patrick: That it’s better to not have friends if the only friends you have aren’t nice. I’d rather be alone than be desperate. 

Patrice: I think a lot of kids could use that advice. 

Patrick: A friend should be someone you pick and if you picked wrong it’s ok to not be their friend anymore. 

Patrice: Do you know that you’re really smart? 

Patrick: Yes. 

Patrice: Good because you are. Being friends with someone is a choice and you can change your mind anytime. 

Patrick: I know that now but I didn’t know that before. I think if I told other kids that it would save them a lot of trouble. 

Patrice: I agree. How should we tell them about this? 

Patrick: Can you put it on the blog? Maybe parents could read it and tell their kids? 

Patrice: We can do that. 

Patrick: Tell them that their kids deserve good friends and not just people to be there so they’re not lonely. Lonely isn’t as bad as being friends with someone that you don’t really like. 

Patrice: I’m glad that you’re not lonely anymore. 

Patrick: Me too.

 

Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices.