Yesterday Abigail came home from school in tears. Apparently her “two best friends” she made on the first day told her they didn’t want to be with her anymore and to go find other friends. Climbing onto my lap, her usually happy eyes drooped. “I don’t like school, Mom. It’s too sad.”
As she shared this with me, childhood memories of being ostracized and feeling so weird and outside the group came flooding back. I wanted to pull her from school right then. Come back, home, honey. We’ll homeschool again.
But I didn’t do that, of course. I let her cry and we snuggled. After a few minutes, the smile returned to her face. Her confidence and perky disposition returned as well.
I’m weak on wisdom in this area, but I told her to be kind to the girls. We prayed that they would be able to work it out and get along again, but I also told her she didn’t have to be friends with kids who treat her badly. She’s awesome and deserves awesome friends. I have no clue if this was good advice, but I tried.
Mostly, I think the cuddling was the important part. Growing up, I didn’t have a mom waiting when I got home from school. She worked too much. If I was sad, I buried it. No one even knew. How I relish the privilege of being the one my sweet girl comes to. I get to listen carefully to her heartaches, shower her with the loving words she longs to hear, and hold her till the storm passes. Maybe these quiet listening, touching, whispering moments are the heart of parenting like there’s no tomorrow.
As I caressed her hair, I also reminded her Jesus is with her every moment. “When things get hard,” I said, “run to him, okay?”
Such simple advice, but true, right? For all of us. When things get hard, run to Jesus.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress. Ps. 71:3
Remember, he loves you like there’s no tomorrow.
My kids have always been in public school. My oldest this year is being home schooled, but that’s another story.
My youngest, Riley, is my only daughter. She’s just turned 8 in August. And this issue with friends comes up, over and over again!
One day they’re a best friends. The next, one girl inevitably gets left out. Sometimes it’s my daughter. Sometimes it’s one of the other girls.
It’s heartbreaking and beyond frustrating, as a parent and definitely for our girls. It seems when there are more than 2 girls someone gets the heave, and in our neighborhood…it’s often my daughter.
I’ve noticed most of the girls in our neighborhood have older sisters. Riley has two older brothers and I have to say it makes a difference. Riley has no problem playing with boys or girls, bit it seems she has to pretend not to like playing with the boys. It’s all very complicated.
I hope it gets better for Abigail!
Yes, it is complicated! I remember this dynamic from being in school, and to be honest, it’s one of the reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place. I’m realizing she may go through similar struggles, but her experience will be different than mine because she has me!
I’m glad Riley is comfortable playing with boys. Abigail is too, but I totally know what you mean about having to pretend that she doesn’t. Crazy!
You did such a SUPERB mom-job!!! Listening, loving and pointing her to Jesus is really the best thing we can do as parents. And we always wish we could do more. I have often grieved over how my daughter struggled in relationships with other girls. Recently she said, “They are just too much drama!” I laughed internally when she said that, because she is usually quite dramatic herself!! But God has a plan for using the heartaches of our kids. It is just tough to walk with them through it.