Friendships in childhood: How your child’s friends shape their journey

friendships in childhood

I’ve got some news to share with you all. This, there’s a fabulous book that has recently hit the shelves that’s an absolute must-read for parents and their little ones. It’s called Champion!, and trust me, it’s a game-changer!

Imagine if we had a book like this when we were kids. Well, our wishes have come true! Champion! is the brainchild of Education Expert Dr. Michal Solomonovich and Life Coach Alon Ulman. These amazing authors have taken their Winners Code Junior Online Course, which has already transformed the lives of thousands of Israeli children, and turned it into an awe-inspiring book.

What’s it all about, you ask? Well, it’s packed with practical life lessons that will empower our little champs to build resilience, conquer fears, and find their tribe. And let’s be honest, we all want our little humans to succeed and be happy, right?

Children’s non-fiction is booming right now, and Champion! is leading the way. This book is not just about inspiring stories; it’s about equipping our youngsters with the skills they need to thrive in life. Think of it as a secret weapon for unlocking their full potential!

Here we share an extract from one of our favourite chapters – Code 9: Live Your Best Life! which is all about friendships in chidhood and how your child’s friends shape their journey.


An environment is STRONGER than WILLPOWER 

To be a champion you must create an environment that will bring you closer to your goals. This environment is both internal and external. In this code we’ll mainly talk about the external environment. 

INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT: Your thoughts, your feelings, your values, your internal stories, the actions you choose and so on. You control the internal environment. All of the codes in this book are designed to help you advance your internal environment for yourself, toward the internal Champion’s environment! 

EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT: The people and circumstances that surround you. These are the people you spend your daily life with, such as friends and family. The kids you hang out with at school or after school, in your sports team or dance practice, and even the kids you play computer games with or the Internet, or the friends you have on social media. 

While the external environment depends on the other people around you, you can also control it and choose the people who surround you. The friends you hang out with are your choice. 

A person can CHANGE their ENVIRONMENT. 

You need to create an environment that will help you. There are environments that can be created and changed, like friends, and there are environments that you are given, like family. 

The largest trees in the world are redwoods (giant sequoia), and the smallest trees in the world are bonsai trees, miniature trees that grow as high as 30–40 cm. 

Bonsai trees are so small because they’re not allowed to grow. This is a delicate Japanese art. The roots of the trees are tied, their branches are pruned over time with patience and the end result is a very beautiful tree. They can’t really grow, but (and this is important) they have the potential to grow and it’s external factors that prevent them from doing that. 

Sequoia trees, on the other hand, are huge. Some of them are so big that if you search them online, you’ll find pictures where you see huge circles of people surrounding one redwood tree. 

Does a bonsai tree have the ability it needs to be bigger? The answer is yes. 

Some people act as if their roots are tied but you can choose to be a redwood or a bonsai tree. The
lesson here is simple: unlike a tree, a person can choose. Even if someone tries to tie your roots, you can resist and grow. 

Can Your FRIENDS HELP create your Champion’s ENVIRONMENT?


Do you surround yourself with friends who can help you? Those who bring out the best in you? Or the ones who bring you down?

Of course, this choice is personal. 

You might be familiar with the saying “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” This is a very true statement. Your behaviour, your aspirations, your results, are greatly influenced by your environment. 

If you feel that your environment is supportive and helpful, that’s great. But what if it’s not? What if you feel, even though it might be a little hard to admit, that your friends aren’t the best for your Champion’s environment?

Here are some warning signs to look out for if you’re worried about your friends: 

  • They’re not happy for you. 
  • They’re jealous of you. 
  • Everything always centers around them. 
  • You often feel uncomfortable around them. 
  • You often get angry and upset around them. 
  • They bring you down. 
  • They behave aggressively toward you. 
  • They’re dishonest or unreliable. 
  • They often get you to do things you don’t like and don’t feel good about doing. 
  • They keep you away from your goals and drain your energy.
    In cases like this you have to ask, how can I change this environment? 

It’s important to be AWARE of your ENVIRONMENT and those IN IT! 

An environment can be changed. Just being aware of the environment you’re in and thinking about ways to improve it is already progress. 

You don’t have to have friends around you that are unhelpful and unsupportive. 

Signs that your friends help create a Champion’s environment: 

  • They give you energy.
  • They have goals and targets in their lives. 
  • You can collaborate with them.
  • They share some of your goals and values. 
  • They’re happy for you when you succeed. 
  • You can share your successes with them. 
  • They help you when you need it. 

Your environment ISN’T FIXED you can CHANGE IT! 

The key to change is to surround yourself with people you want to resemble more, or who challenge your abilities. 

Alon remembers what it was like when he started training for the Iron Man competition, which is a really difficult sporting race. He joined an environment of people with very high physical abilities 

Is an ENVIRONMENT stronger than WILLPOWER? 

You already know that in order to reach your goals, you need to be consistent. Willpower is also important because it’s the thing that motivates you to take action, to achieve the things you want for yourself. For example, willpower is the thing that stops you talking in class and interrupting—even though you’d prefer to talk to your friends—because you understand that it’s important to listen in class to pass. 

It’s not always easy to exercise willpower.

When you’re in a Champion’s environment, the friends that surround you can help, even when your willpower weakens and you’re almost ready to give up. 

Unsupportive friends will never be happy for you when you succeed. They’ll try to bring you down and point out your weaknesses. On the other hand, supportive friends will always be happy for you when you do well. Most importantly, they’ll encourage you and push you forward in times of need. When you create a Champion’s environment of supportive people, these are the friends that won’t give up on you, even when you’re willing to give up on yourself. 

Your Champion’s environment is often stronger than willpower and it can help you in difficult moments. Think of a sports competition. Even when the team loses, the fans, the coach and the team members don’t give up—they continue to encourage and strengthen the players, even in the most difficult moments.

Think about school. If you’re in a difficult class, you have to commit to studying harder and putting in more effort. Even though this can be tough, you’re investing in your future success

Your CHAMPION’S environment creates POWER. 

In cycling competitions, there is a riding structure called peloton, from the French word meaning platoon, because the riders progress in the group like a military unit. 

But why do they ride like this? This arrow-shaped structure helps them reduce the resistance of the air. The power of the group in the arrow structure reduces the cyclists’ effort. Riders in the front of the arrow absorb air resistance and those in the middle are protected which makes the riding easier for them. They take turns moving to the outside of the arrow structure, so everyone gets time to rest and enjoy an easier ride. Riding in this structure increases the chances of success. Migrating birds also fly in an arrow-shaped structure for the same reason. 

The birds and the cyclists in the peloton are both examples of supportive environments

Surround yourself with people who will be there for you and support you so that you can achieve success! 

This extract is from Champion! Everything You Need To be Your Greatest You! Priced £14.99 and available on Amazon and in all good bookstores. Written by Dr Michal Solomonovich and Alon Ulman, the founders of the Winners Code Junior Online, the book shares their tried and tested online program which has helped thousands of Israeli children thrive and be happy. Dr Michal Solomonovich has a PHD in Education, in an NLP Master, lecturer and personal coach with expertise in children’s coaching and ADHD. Alon Ulman is a sought-after speaker, life and business strategy expert and founder of the Winner’s Code Ltd.  

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