Navigating The Minefield Of Middle School FriendshipsBy Joanigeltman
Middle school reeks havoc with friendships. Kids in 6th grade come into middle school with their best friends from elementary school. But in the melting pot of new kids from the other schools in town, new kids who have moved into town and kids who have moved from private school to public school, the old friend relationships often takes a hit. Maybe a new kid sees in opening in a group, forms an alliance with a "new friend" and courts that group for membership. She may see someone in that group as a barrier to membership and seeks to oust that kid to make space for herself. There is nothing more important in middle school than having "your group."
One of the moms in this group told me of an incident where all her daughter's best friends and one new friend had been invited to a sleepover, but not her. She was devastated, and found out that the "new girl" had lobbied against her inclusion. As we dug a bit deeper, I found out that the new girl had not been invited to an after school outing that the excluded girl had hosted. Are you following me here? So I think that the new girl was doing a little "payback" for not being invited to the after school event. 'If she didn't invite me to her thing than I'll make sure she doesn't get invited to this other thing." Oy, yes it's petty, it's hurtful, and it's normal.
Now the question that came up with these moms, is should they intervene, and make sure that everyone is included? Here is what I think. In elementary school, it is all for one and one for all. Everyone is included as much as possible. But as kids move into adolescence, friendships take on a new dimension. When they were younger, any body would do, as kids get older, they do begin to look more closely at their friends. Do I even like this kid? Do we have anything in common? Maybe one of the friends is ready to move on to more teenagery behavior, and feels like they have outgrown an old friend. Is it the parent's job to keep these friendships, unfortunately no. Your teen does have a right to move on from people. But as a parent it is your job to help them do it with as much kindness and mindfulness as they can. Because as kids grow into teens, they do become more narcissistic, and are looking out mostly for themselves. They do need some help.
In that earlier example, I do think both of the moms might have said to their daughters:" Hey honey, I noticed you didn't invite X. She has always been one of your good friends. What's up with that? I think her feelings will be really hurt. I get that your friends might be changing, but maybe we can figure out a way for you to that without hurting her feelings." Your job as a parent during this difficult time of transitioning friendships is not to make them feel guilty for wanting to move on, but to help them with a strategy that will be the least hurtful. Middle school friendship transitions are probably the hardest it will ever be. These kids are so vulnerable and so much is changing for them simultaneously that as parents we just want to protect them from all this hurt. Hurt is part of life, and teaching them coping and recovery skills can help.
These articles might interest you :
Hope your week is going well blog friends. Still busy with work and not making as much progress as I would like to in either reading or crafty pursuits, but th... Read moreThe 06 March 2013 by Crossstitchyourheart
BOOKS, CREATIVITY, SELF EXPRESSION
By: Rhonda Nemri Achievement is one of the things that stick with us for a very long time. We strive to be successful, and be seen as successful. Read moreThe 01 March 2013 by Rhonda Nemri
SOCIETY, WOMEN'S ISSUES
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.–BuddhaI was thinking..(now that is... Read moreThe 20 February 2012 by Rusty
LIFE COACH, LIFESTYLE
Have you ever gotten a runner's high? If you're a runner then you probably have and that's why you're still a runner. Have you ever got a runner's high that... Read moreThe 10 February 2013 by Chardonaldson
DIARIES, FITNESS, SELF EXPRESSION
Take a look at the following box score I created:Notice anything unusual? What stands out to some would be the second pitcher (Jones) who threw for only two out... Read moreThe 19 February 2013 by Meachrm
Hi All,One thing I have noticed a lot of lately is just how many of us are confused by the terminology when it comes to autoimmune diseases....I know that I am. Read moreThe 28 April 2014 by Cass
HEALTH, SELF EXPRESSION
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Bruce Martin was watching movies in the middle of the night when he suffered a massive heart attack. His dog Clyde nudged him and, gettin... Read moreThe 20 March 2013 by David13676
MOST POPULAR FROM FAMILY
- Popular Chinese Recipes: Orange Chicken, Sesame Chicken, and Sweet N Sour Chicken by Upliftingfam
- #ASKAWAYFriday with Cascia from Talbert Zoo by Upliftingfam
- Pinning This Month by Moralfibres
- Happiness is... using time wisely by A Happy Mum
Turkey Harry Potter Russia Nuclear Energy DSK Halloween Lady Gaga European Union Climate Change Apple Michelle Rodriguez Economy The Box Office Valentine's Day John Galliano Rick Perry Mardi Gras North Korea The Olympics Egypt Academy Awards Samsung Apps Winter Sports True Blood Thanksgiving Christmas Barack Obama China Mitt Romney
MOST RECOMMENDED IN FAMILY
- Increase Appetite in Babies, Toddlers and Kids with 12 Foods by Sangeetha
- Anxiety doesn’t always mean it’s rooted in fear. by Rachel Rachelhagg
- The pictures that aren’t in our picture books. by Rachel Rachelhagg
- Giving back: the best birthday gift ever by Behan Gifford