Kelly, over at Generation Cedar, a blog that I read regularly, is doing a series on Getting Your Children to Be Friends. She opened it up for questions and comments, and after a couple of posts addressing the topic in general, she is now addressing specific questions. Go over and check it out if the topic interests you.
Last Friday she talked about the idea that one becomes what one is around. She referenced a quote by Dennis Lennon..."That which is known by heart is what the heart knows."
This is one of the many reasons we homeschool. "What about peer influence and socialization?" Well, that is exactly what we are trying to protect our children from! When did the idea that age-segregated, peer influence was to be valued over godly wisdom and life experience? I'm not talking about sheltering and never letting your children be around those that are different, but eight hours a day, five days a week is not exposure, it is immersion. I don't know about you, but I think God intended for godly parents, discipling and raising up their children in the Lord, to be the primary influence on their children. Not peers that may (if you're lucky) or may not have the beliefs and moral values that you desire to pass on to your children.
A few of her thoughts...
"Our children will become like those they are most often around...adopting the worldview most consistently revealed to them."
"By and large, children are not being taught the commands of God, and have been left to themselves--the resulting product--FOOLS. ("A companion of fools suffers harm.") The constant care and training of parents toward "loving your neighbor as yourself", as opposed to the opposite peer training of "me first", yields much fruit."
She covers the topic much better and more succinctly than I could, so I would just encourage you to go over and read it. It is short, only takes a couple of minutes and is totally worth it. She does approach it from the viewpoint that the way to accomplish this best is for your children to actually be around each other, but even if you don't believe homeschooling is the way to go, it is very good food for thought as the topic really is "getting your children to be friends." I would actually encourage you to read and follow the entire series and it is full of valuable, practical information, and she always covers topics from a Scriptural point of view, motivating the heart behind the actions, giving weight to the "how to" by addressing the "why."