A few days ago I wrote a post about my fifth grade daughter who was feeling sad about her perceived lack of friends. I had several people take the time to post thoughtful and heartfelt comments and I wanted to thank them very much for taking the time to do so! (Thank you Sarah, Audree, Sheila, and Mama!)
As I’ve had more time to ponder, I had some other thoughts I wanted to share.
First, I spoke with a mother who shared that her young daughter (now grown, married, and successfully mothering her own two children) struggled with friendships during the elementary school years. Although this young girl attended public school, and there were around eight girls her age in the neighborhood, she never seemed to form a “best friend” relationship. Things changed, however, in high school when she was able to befriend girls with similar interests – in her case, dance club. Hearing this young girl’s story made me realize that forming friendships may be something that some young children just struggle with regardless of where they are schooled.
Second, I know I made a point to rant about over-scheduled kids not being available to play, but a thought that came strongly to me was that in a large family, children often accompany mom and older/younger siblings to sports or activities where they are able to play and often meet new friends. For example, when my fifth grader comes to my second grader’s ball games she is not home and “available to play” but she is playing with new friends at the ball park. Maybe other parents think she is “over-scheduled” when she is gone during those times. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is – you never know what another’s situation is like, so it’s best not to make blanket statements! I felt bad for just assuming everyone near me was over-scheduled rather than thinking that families nearby are just attending to their children the best way they can – with everyone in tow.
Third, Mama made a wonderful point in her comment by saying that when your rhythm is predictable children often know “when and where” they will get to play with certain friends. I’m happy to report we do have a very predictable rhythm right now (Hurrah!), but I thought this was important to those who may be struggling with kids and loneliness.
Thank you very much for coming to visit and taking the time to read and/or respond. Sometimes, I hestitate to write about weighty matters because there is no way to share all of the feelings/events/situations which influence them.