Last night I lay with my dear little daughter before I turned out her light. I listened to her tell me her worries and to my pain there were many.
She was worried that if she kept chewing her nails and surrounding skin, she would never have lovely hands when she grew up....sadly this was my stupid warning I sounded to her when I saw her bleeding little fingers and whilst she is having trouble breaking this habit, I now foolishly implanted fear in her. Last week she decided to give up ballet - another girl is being openly hostile to her and called her fat : we recently caught her doing sit ups and refusing to finish her small meals. This little girl in question has some problems with other little girls in other classes, so I know this is true.
Through tears, she told me of a "friend" at school who promised to invite her to her birthday party only to discover the party was Tuesday just gone and she never got an invite. Another friend was giving her the silent treatment and she just didn't understand why all this was happening. She felt so lonely and just wanted some true friends.
Now this all rang bells for me and I know there are certain skills and ideas I need to give her. I also realise now I have a girl that is far less resilient than I thought and I must be careful with what ideas or careless comments that impart from me. We have had a big talk about ballet and there was more to it, she was feeling tired of it and wants to try tennis. So OK, tennis it is and then onto what grabs her interest next.
But, I can tell you I am scared.
Scared of repeating foolish mistakes my mother and father made. Scared I might be missing something, or maybe over reacting. Fear is really gripping me. Fear for the pain my little girl may be facing.
I can see it, feel it - history repeating and whilst I cannot shield her from everything and she will need to
experience some tough stuff to build strength - I must do what I can to prevent needless pain. Of course this might just blow over and it will all OK next week.
Oh how her little tears burnt into my heart. I will worry all night now. That's ok - it is what mummies do and I will most willingly lose sleep for her, if I thought it would get me closer to a solution and to restore the harmony in her life. I think that might be a bit too easy though.
I am a bit stuck , what to do about the friend thing - I need to help equip her with skills that are used for building friendships. Friendship should be easy and I want her to have the confidence to not settle for questionable friends and see herself as a worthy friend. This is such a dilemma, I am really concerned about what course of action to take.
How do you foster friendships with your children? Have any of you bee faced with this problem, what did you do? I would really value any pearls of wisdom here.