Every afternoon as soon as she gets in the car after school, Baby Girl starts talking, nonstop, excitedly. She tells me everything that anyone has said that day (the kids obviously, not the adults, they don’t count and aren’t important). She then discusses what they meant by saying such and such and how that made her feel and where that person is in the pecking order of the social structure and why the other person said what they did and how it impacted her world.
It’s all so very, very intricate and messy. Complicated Boy and I sit in silence until it ends. If we try to offer an opinion or help, we are told that we “Just don’t understand!”.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s happy and doing well and has lots of friends and revels in all the nuances and details. But me oh my it would make me so very confused and tired.
I have tried to think back to my school days and I don’t remember it being that complicated. I can remember the “In” crowd and popular people and the different groups and gossip. But I don’t remember the confusing details of the actual friendships.
As you get older I think you do forget how hard it all was, and you learn how to operate in circles of people to ensure a friendly atmosphere. You draw around you the people you really like and let go of the people that you don’t.
So, I think that there should be lessons, especially for girls, on friendship.
- If you think someone is nice, go and talk to them, be nice and friendly and invite them for a sleep over.
- If you think someone is nice, but not really your cup of tea, talk to them and be nice and friendly, but don’t invite them over for a sleep over.
- If you think someone is not nice and not your cup of tea, still talk to them if approached and be nice and polite, but definitely don’t invite them for a sleep over.
- When you are with your friends – ask about them and things that are important to them. If they are good friends they will eventually ask about you, enabling you to talk about yourself. Don’t go in straight away making it all about you.
- When you are with your friends – don’t talk nastily about other people. You may think they will keep your confidence, but they won’t. In fact, if you can’t say something nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all.
- If you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable and you know is wrong, walk away. Have a code that you can text your parents, so they will give you an excuse to go and to come and pick you up.
- When you are growing up, you are developing your own style and personality. Big lesson – it doesn’t have to be like everyone else, you can be different, you can be yourself AND in fact it is better to be different. Don’t be beige and the same as everyone else.
- If someone says something to you – take it at face value. Don’t read anything in to it. Don’t make it more complicated than it is. Because it usually isn’t complicated, most people do actually mean exactly what they say.
- And finally, don’t stop telling mummy everything, she may “not understand!” but she is listening, worrying and hopefully being helpful and supportive.
Good luck Baby Girl… I hope you come out of this with some wonderful, wonderful friends and a confidence and happiness to get you through life.