Our kids have been left behind by once-best friends. They’ve also struggled with creating space between themselves and playmates they have simply outgrown. Whatever side they’re on, here’s how to make it a little less painful for all concerned.
By the time our kids finish middle school, many will have suffered the sting of being left behind by a formerly “best” friend. Many more will have struggled with how to create some space between themselves and the playmates they have simply outgrown. Lots of kids end up on both sides of that equation (or at least ours have). Neither side is easy– but we’re here to figure out how to make it less painful for all concerned, whichever side our kid is on.
In this episode we discuss:
how not to over-identify with the rejection our kids might feel (as Eileen Kennedy-Moore puts it, “don’t go lioness”)
the difference between someone bullying your kid and someone just really, really disappointing her
how to support older kids through the heartbreak
how best to help our kids when they’re the ones who might need to say “I need more space”
Here’s links to some great writing on the topic:
Eileen Kennedy-Moore for US News and World Report: 3 Ways to Help a Child Cope With Being Dumped by a Friend
Dr. Carl Pickhardt for Psychology Today: Adolescence and the Loss of a Best Friend
KJ Dell’Antonia for NYT Motherlode: When Another Child Wants To Be Friends And Yours Does Not
Whatever you do, maintain perspective! Don’t dismiss or ignore your child’s feelings, but don’t go lioness either.
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