DEAR COACH RICHIE: My daughter is sad. Yesterday was one of the worst days for my daughter! Her best friend that she’s had for several years messaged her and told her that they need time away. That they don’t make good friends anymore that they are different people and they have different sense of humor. (everyone is different if we were all the same life would be boring) I messaged the mother because it was very out of character for this girl. I wasn’t really expecting a response I got she basically said that she had no idea what was going on but she felt this is something that they need to deal with themselves. I can understand that on her side because her daughter is not the one that is in tears devastated, hurt, confused and heartbroken.
She claims to sympathize with that but she feels that we need to as parents let them go through this. Never said I didn’t want to let her go through this I just wanted to be in lightened myself so I could help my daughter deal with us. Basically the parent was a waste of time she wasn’t willing to help with any input or talk to her daughter. That they don’t make good friends anymore that they are different people and they have different sense of humor. (everyone is different if we were all the same life would be boring) I messaged the mother because it was very out of character for this girl. I wasn’t really expecting a response I got she basically said that she had no idea what was going on but she felt this is something that they need to deal with themselves.
I can understand that on her side because her daughter is not the one that is in tears devastated, hurt, confused and heartbroken. She claims to sympathize with that but she feels that we need to as parents let them go through this. Never said I didn’t want to let her go through this I just wanted to be in lightened myself so I could help my daughter deal with us. Basically, the parent was a waste of time she wasn’t willing to help with any input or talk to her daughter.
COACH RICHIE: So sorry to hear about this challenge your daughter is having. My daughter is sad is a hard thing to cope with as a parent. When our children encounter hurt and sadness as a result of a friend it pierces are hearts like a dull knife. We can’t understand how children that once were great friends can grow apart. Unfortunately, this is what humans do. We are on this journey of life and people just grow apart? Have you ever had a great friend that at one point you just didn’t get along with any longer and parted ways. This happens quite often not only with adults but with children. When it happens to our kids it is like their entire world has blown up and it breaks our hearts to bare witness to this.
However, we have a couple of choices when something like this happens. As you have done, contact the parents of our child’s friend and try to get them back together. This actually never works because kids make up their own minds and how do we think we can influence them to change them. They don’t want to be friends any more and that is it. Maybe several years down the line they may reconnect but for the most part it is over and all parties need to agree to move forward. Our second choice is help our children learn a lesson from this. My daughter is sad and my son is sad is a problem that I hear from most parents and we need to see if we can find the positive in what they are going through. A lesson that can be learned from this feeling and emotion.
There is nothing wrong with our children feeling sad. If they are never disappointed by life when they are young. How do we think they are going to be prepared for all the challenges in life. If we don’t allow them to feel emotions they will never be able to cope with an emotional situation in their life because they have no experience. When children are not allowed to feel emotions like sadness, etc they don’t learn the most important skill of life and that is coping. When they are never presented with a disappointment in life they never have the opportunity to learn how to manage their feelings. Then when they become adults and have an emotional problem they can’t handle it and resort to drugs, alcohol and unexpected behavior to hide in a world where they are not hurting. I see this in the young adults that I work with in prisons and sober houses. Most have no coping skills because they have been raised to bury emotions and not feel anything.
I know this is the last thing you wanted to hear from me. Yes, your daughters friends mother is right. We have to let them go through this challenge on their own which will provide them the gift of figuring things out for themselves. Which will prepare them for adulthood. This is just a temporary challenge that will be forgotten in time and as hard as it is to see our children sad. It is our job to allow them to sit with the sadness and figure their way through to the other side. What we can do as parents is be there to support them while they process things. What we don’t want to do is constantly ask them how they are doing and give them the third degree. Just a periodic check in and let them know that we love them and are here for them if they need to talk. Sitting back is the hardest thing when our hearts break for our children. But this sitting back is sometimes what they need the most to learn some things about life and how challenging it can be.
Just a couple of questions for you. What were you really hoping the other mom would say? Do you think she was going to force her daughter to be friends with your daughter again? If she was able to do it, how do you think that would work out for both children? “Our parents forced us to be friends” now i hate you even more and now I can’t stand my parent for forcing me into a friendship. When we try to control our children it will always backfire. Would you like to be told to be friends with a certain person if you no longer had a connection with them? A forced friendship is not good for anyone, especially teenagers that are looking to discover their way in life. If that mom did tell her daughter to be your daughters friend again. How do you think that would reflect on your daughter in school with her peers. “wow…look at so and so! she need her mommy to make friends for her” I can tell you that is the last thing our children want is attention like that.
So you have two choices. You can let this bother you and keep bringing it up to your daughter which will keep her stuck in the sadness every time you mention it. Or you can take a step back and endure your broken heart knowing that she is learning a very valuable lesson in life that will serve her well into her adulthood.
I hope you find something here that helps. I know over the next several months ” My daughter is sad ” may be a thing of the past. However, as life is please be prepared for it to resurface as there are people in this world that help us grow by helping us learn the hardest lessons about life. My daughter is sad is something you may have to cope with yourself for many years to come, even into adulthood and all we really can do is be there and have empathy and compassion for them and love them through this obstacles of life.
All my love and support
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