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Friendship Waking to Grow Up - Blog Posts

My child’s friendships hurt my heart.

Jen Haynes

That moment that you watch your child left behind by a group, to stand alone without support. That is the moment that hurts our hearts the most. 

Fear guides this response in us as parents. We fear a future of loneliness and pain, the one core fear we all share. The need for love and support from our community. 

Boy alone

Our responses often reside in our bodies as records of moments of loneliness in our early childhood. They are then cemented with words to describe the body feeling as we get older.

Abandonment

Exclusion

Isolation

Alone

We watch our child with our somatic/body awareness, feeling it in our own shoulders, stance, chin, stomach and legs. We feel them. 

But do we? 

Our children learn these somatic cues and body responses from the community around them and us. However, they might not associate them with the same experiences as us. They may not have the exact word that, like a spell, lead us to believe that feeling “alone” is inevitable.

We can support our children when we feel these feelings in our body that bring up that language by NOT responding with an assumption that we know. Every one of our children is forming and developing their way of being in the world. Respect that and let them create their own response. Allow them to feel their own way in the world and then give them the space to share or not share it with you. Be their comfort, not their author. Explore the different ways that they may see this scenario and let them find their way.

Provide comfort and belief in their resilience if you see them turn away from their friends.

Retreat and regroup, 

Retreat and mourn or 

Retreat and redirect.