Make friends in different places

April 4, 2012 in friendships,Wednesday wisdom

In high school, I had school friends, a church friend and a dear neighbor. If we hadn’t been neighbors, our lives would not have intersected. We didn’t have anything in common except location. But I was so thankful for Dori. Somehow, having a friend who wasn’t part of the different dramas in my life helped to keep me balanced. I could talk. She could listen. She would pet sit. I would listen. I could meet her friends and share opinions or I could sneak one of my boyfriends over to her house (which I did once).  We had more sleepovers than I can count.

I can’t remember the book where I read the wisdom for today. That is how wisdom works sometimes. It sticks in your brain when the other details fall away. Give your daughter friends in multiple places. 

Being a tween or teen comes with friendship pitfalls. Ensuring that your daughter connects in a meaningful way with girls from different places will bolster her confidence. Friendships that aren’t school based don’t tend to have as much drama as friendships with a neighbor or a girl in dance class. Plus if things go sour for the week with one group of friends, there are still other girls who want to hang out with your daughter.

In our church body, the closest kid is 7 years younger than Bird–a lifetime in kid years. And my girls attend public school. I knew my oldest daughter needed friends from  outside school who came from families that loved the Lord. My motivation was partly selfish. I wanted Bird to know other girls who’s parents made them memorize scripture, limited video game time, and had high modesty standards (High pitched refrains of “Mom, why are we so weird?” were becoming frequent).

Bird had tons of school friend drama, not-so-strong connections with soccer team girls, and a couple good neighborhood friends. I wanted to introduce her to a group of girls her age she didn’t already know. So last summer, the Girls Club began. We used our super cool treehouse as a meeting place and I led the girls through Bible Studies, crafts and games. The 5 girls attended three different schools and had a wide variety of interests. That group doesn’t function without issues, but now Bird’s possibilities of friends to talk with is expanded and she knows we aren’t the only ones who are weird.

Inviting daughters from 4 other families to be in a club took more bravery than I wanted it to. But Bird gained new friends. I saw the girls grow in faith and now, though I don’t see them often, I feel like I have more daughters. The families of these girls feel blessed to have another speaking truth into her life. Really, my goal of gaining friends for my girl spread blessings to my girl, myself, and the families of others. Praying that God will duplicate a club for my youngest when the time comes.

Helping your daughter make friends from different circles requires opening your house and helping girls connect. It is intentional and time consuming. But she won’t be the only one to reap the benefits.

Linking up today with other friends…..

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Blond Duck April 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

Popped in from SITS! That’s such a sweet story! We had a treehouse growing up and my sister and I loved it!

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Positively Alene April 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

What an awesome post. Great memories this morning of my “clubs” growing up. Love how you incorporate your girls and help them include others. Precious.

http://www.positivelyalene.com

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Kerri S April 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

great post! friendships for our children are so important, especially ones with the same faith base. love that you started a “girls club” for your youngest to inspire such friendships!

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redemptionsbeauty April 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

We do have to know when to step in don’t we? And step out as well. My kids are both very selective about friendships and they are introverts who don’t look for more time to be with people or be entertained. I am the complete opposite. I realized that much of my trying to orchestrate things came from my own lens of what I needed. Then God whacked me on the head and showed me He didn’t make them quite the same. I am so glad that my kids have made good healthy choices in friendships and that they stay away from the drama. Kudos to you for instigating something that turned out to be a blessing beyond your walls. I love that tree house! How awesome is that?

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Dana April 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Laura, I loved that you did this!!! We want our house to be the hang out house so this gives me another idea to do with my girls when they are older. I would not have thought of asking people outside our already formed circles. Great idea and so needed. I loved having friends from different groups growing up.

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Missy | Literal Mom April 5, 2012 at 2:44 am

This is totally fantastic. And coming from someone who totally gets the worry about girl drama and your child only having one group to fall back on? This idea is just a brilliant solution to it. Good for YOU for doing the work to make it work. 🙂

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AB HOME Interiors April 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm

You are right, it is so important to have different “clubs” growing up. I had a friend who lived next door and she was amazing. A year younger but she could always give me outside perspective because she wasn’t involved in my drama. Love the photos too, so cute!

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Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com April 6, 2012 at 2:56 am

OH my goodness… This is brilliant. I am so pleased and delighted to read about your story and the love you’re pouring into those sweet girls. God bless you all!

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Holly Tumpkin April 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Laura, love this! This is the same thing I’ve been doing with other girls and my daughters,, didn’t realize you’d done the same! Awesome! We really need to be able to communicate, so can you email me at hollytumpkin@Gmail.com? I got your comment today. I was on my small phone, gone from house and real computer all day, and was trying to post a comment on your blog, telling you to go to http://www.kellyskornerblog and link on her moms of girls page yesterday! But I see now my comment didn’t work 🙁 and I don’t know what I hit to post your blog on mine, so I deleted it. Ha, obviously I don’t even know half of what I should yet on technical stuff, and will stop trying to do it on my tiny phone where I hit wrong buttons. Anyway, I need to be able to email you! Wuld love to chat. 🙂 great post!!

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Kathy April 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hi! Stopping by your blog from Getting Down with Jesus 🙂 That’s awesome how you are taking the initiative and helping your daughter build relationships with other girls. I love the idea of meeting in your tree house. Those are memories that they will always have…wish I was blessed with something like that!
p.s. Love how you share your booklist on your site…I love reading and appreciate others’ recommendations!

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Lyli April 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Ok, I just forgot everything you said when I saw the picture of that tree house. Sweet! 🙂

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Jessica Ambrose July 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

what a great idea!! I may have to consider something like this.

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