January 25, 2019

Middle School Friendship

The middle years are the toughest on girls. It’s when you start to define who you are, and it’s not always easy. Everyone is trying to figure who they are and how that fits as a part of a bigger picture. As part of this process, girls could be friendly one minute and not so nice the next. Tension can build as they learn how to communicate with each other, as they learn how to hold to who they are and still work to find a compromise. I don’t think I ever fully appreciated how hard period was on my parents until I had a middle school daughter. The sad truth is that sometimes, it’s not what you do, it’s how they are taught to react and finally. The hardest part, those girls who thrive on drama is that the sometimes come with equally dramatic parents.

The parenting challenge is in teaching her how to deal with the drama. The easy answer is to say, walk away. What’s a bit harder to explain is how to handle things, when the other party doesn’t want to let it go. When they do someone does the ‘drive-by’ comment at your locker, about something, you had long since let go. What to do when they mumble under their breath, URGH, and other sounds when you open a door for them or make strange faces if they catch you looking their way. It’s easy to say ignore it, but it’s another thing to live with someone who’s doing those things to you daily.

Years later I have come to realize two things. The first is that knowing who you are and what you want, that’s a gift. Some adults still try to fit in with every group and change for others vs. changing to better themselves. Knowing who you are is a skill that will serve you well for the rest of your life. Once you know who you are you can start to shape the type of leader or person you wish to become. The real challenge is teaching her that being strong and a leader is not about doing all the things. It’s about letting her tribe shine through as you work together to accomplish ALL the things.

The second is that once you become an adult, you don’t get to walk away so easily. When you encounter those people with whom you don’t click, you will have to find a way to co-exist. Ultimately the real goal is to make sure she learns not to let those encounters or the drama start to change who you are, or define you. She will have to hold strong to who she is the rest of her life.

Uncategorized 0 Replies to “Middle School Friendship”