A few weeks ago I picked my eight grade daughter and a friend up from a football game. My daughter was sort of quiet as we drove to her friend’s house. This was the first time she hung out with this friend outside of school. I could not help but notice the sadness on her face, so I asked her about the game after we dropped her friend off. She did not have a good time. So I asked a few more questions for understanding.
She told me that they hung out with some other girls at the game and they ignored her like she wasn’t even there. My response was, you just have to jump right in there and join in. You don’t have to wait for an invitation. She says she tried but it didn’t work. I empathized with her feelings and told her that I was sorry that it turned out that way. We moved to OH a little over a year ago. It takes her a little longer to connect with people and that’s perfectly okay.
As a mom, I’m doing all that I can to nurture her confidence, identity and self-esteem. I just want to pour into her all the lessons that I’ve learned over the years, so that she doesn’t have to struggle. But these are the developmental years, and the challenges will come. We can’t control that. How she copes with the challenges will make all the difference.
Most days she doesn’t want to hear a lecture from mom (because she’s 13) but I asked if she could hear me out for a few minutes. I feel like I’m talking to my younger self sometimes because I was a lot like her at 13. Here are the 5 Life Lessons that I shared with her.
YOU ARE WORTHY
You do not need the validation of other girls to feel worthy. You ARE a great friend and daughter with many talents. You just have to find the right friends. They are out there.
TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED
The fact that they chose to ignore you has nothing to do with you. There could be countless reasons why they didn’t talk to you, but stressing over it only gets you one thing – STRESSED. Kids form cliques, that’s just how it is. At 13, they are trying to fit in too. They may be very nice girls. Keep your head up and “YOU” remember to treat people the way you want to be treated.
DON’T ALLOW OTHERS TO STEAL YOUR JOY
Don’t allow other people to steal your joy. You are giving people power over your emotions. I know it’s tough to grasp at 13 but you’ll understand as you get older. I’m not saying there won’t be times when you are sad, or angry but you can’t allow it to consume you. Dust yourself off and keep going.
SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT MEANT TO BE YOUR FRIENDS
Not all relationships blossom into great friendships. Some people are only meant to be acquaintances. You WILL find your person or persons.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD COMPANY
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and are like-minded.
My role as mom is to prepare her for the world with the understanding that not everyone will be as nice or inviting as we would like them to be. These five life lessons apply to adults as well and believe me I live by them. It took me years to get to this place but my hope is that I can help my daughter to embrace the fact that she is fearfully and wonderfully made sooner than later.
How do you encourage your daughter when she feels like an outsider?
Peace and Blessings,