Last year, our family made an abrupt move from the warm, sunny South to the cold, dank North. It was not so much about the move but our kids, in particular, my daughter that I worried about.
I remember when she started public middle school. She came home and told me, rather sadly, that none of the behavior she witnessed would have happened at the old school. My son nodded in agreement.
Each day they came home I asked how the day was. My son seemed to be settling in, but my daughter...well...
I could see it all in her eyes. The way she longed for friends, acceptance and some familiarity.
One day she came home, flopped on the couch and cried. Oh, my heart broke! She went on to explain how some girls had been dismissive and mean. How she was unable to find friends.
Now, let me explain my daughter. She is a sweet girl with high standards. The Golden Rule is what she lives by, "Treat others as you would like to be treated." She was finding that others didn't live that way. It was an abrupt truth.
My husband and I decided to have a family talk. We let the children know that new environments bring new challenges. That we too were experiencing lots of change and trying to find our place, just like them. What we know is that we must always be us, like they always need to be themselves. My kids nodded in agreement.
If you continue to be you, friends will come. It may take a moment, but it will be worth the wait.
I told my daughter, for now, it's you and me. I'll be the friend you need until the friends you want, come along. So each day, I made time to do a little something extra with my baby girl.
We watched her favorite shows some nights. I have to say I ended up loving Barbie's Dream House! We laughed and did girlie things...like painting our toes and trying out eyeshadow. We played board games, card games, and Guitar Hero.
The school year quickly came to a close with a few friends for my daughter.
How happy I was to hear about her day, now with sunny chatter about funny things that she saw during lunch or class.
The pain and anguish that a son or daughter experiences will make you fly to the moon and back. Often, I wished I could walk those school hallways instead of her.
Now, she's happily planning her return to school. Sharing some classes with a friend and excited about what's to come this school year. My daughter is finding her own place.
My wisdom tells me this is but one of many challenging times my daughter will face. We'll be ready to stand with her through them all.
Candace Beach has been married to Ralph Beach for 15 years and they have a blended family that consists of 2 boys, Ralph Jr. (34) and Carlisle (14), as well as 2 girls named Barbara-Ann (26) and Candyce (13), YIKES! She sees motherhood as ever changing, like the gift that keeps on giving, Sometimes heartache and other times great joy!
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