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Friday, August 27, 2010

Friendship and Fighting

My daughter had a falling out at school towards the end of her 5th grade year. It was probably her 1st major drama with friends and it made the first few weeks of summer almost unbearable.

She recovered with a few of those friendships in tact. The one's whom were willing to ask for forgiveness were deemed worthy of a second chance in my daughters eyes. While I was struggling to agree, despite my modeling to her that all persons deserve a second chance and that everyone is inherently good, I keep my mouth mostly closed and allowed her to live her life and make her own mistakes. It's how we humans learn, after all.

One friend in particular didn't feel as though she owed Nadine an apology. Nadine accepted this fact and they parted ways. It was a shame because she'd known this girl since 1st grade and they had spent some time together outside of school, and in sports as well.

I had warned Nadine that when school started back up some of these friends would want to pretend as if nothing had happened. I cautioned her about allowing that to slide by. I told her that some kids do not have conflict resolution skills, and some just think time heals all wounds. I told her that the best thing she could do in that situation was stand firm to her feelings and let them know that their choices and actions had caused her pain.

We are ending our 3rd week back to school and sure enough, as her psychic (Ha!) mom had predicted, she ran into one of the old friends during the school day. This friend casually said hello and mentioned they hadn't seen each other since the whole situation last year. My daughter replied with something along the lines of "Yea, well...that situation still has yet to be resolved." and they moved on.

The friend sent her an e-mail last night and I was so impressed with my daughters reply that I wanted to share it...even though it is a private matter. It's times like these that I know I must be doing something right, and that these kids of mine...they really do listen to me sometimes!

The friend was telling my daughter that they couldn't not be friends. After all, they'd be spending time around each other at mutual friends parties, at school, etc. She didn't take ownership of her role in the relationship parting ways, and not surprisingly she tried to justify the incident while placing blame on other friends.

My daughters reply really impressed me. At 11 years old...such a wise young girl. She replied to her friend:

"What you did and said is not something I am going to forgive and forget. If you really want to be friends, and you don't want me to be mad at you than you are gonna need to earn it. If you want to have fun with me I need to trust that you aren't gonna back stab me again. I don't want to just go to a friend's birthday and use it as a chance to make up and be best friends without more than just an apology over email, it takes a lot of guts to tell a person you mean something in person. And if you can't do that than I can easily mind my own business and not mess you with you at the next party."

She told her what she expected, expressed her true feelings, and planned for a future event.

We should all be so willing to tackle life's struggles head on. She makes me very proud. She could have chosen to just go along with the flow and start talking to this old friend as if nothing ever happened. She commanded respect for herself, and held her friend accountable for her actions.

In my mind, this is just more proof that my daughter is a very good friend. She can take the heat and she is willing to sacrifice her pain in order to help her friends achieve their highest heights. I am impressed.

It goes without saying that my daughter shares her fair share of flaws. For those who know me beyond the blog world...I would hope that you know well enough by now that I do not think my child is an angel of perfection. What I do know is that I have 4 children, and I see a lot of kids respond to life in a lot of different ways. I just happen to be particularly pleased with how she is doing it.

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Good job Momma (and great job daughter)!