How is your child at school? Do you see your daughter or son often alone, not being in a circle of friends? For some kids it is quite easy to make friends and for others it isn’t.
My daughter used to say with tears, “Mom, I don’t like school, because I don’t have any friends there.” I sympathized with her, felt sad and wanted to do something about it for her. So I told her to be proactive in making friends…because I believed kids NEED friends based on my belief that I had NEEDed friends.
By saying “You need to talk to them first and not wait until other children approach you!”, I was making her feel inadequate about herself, because my underline message was that my daughter was not trying hard enough to make friends.
“What is wrong about being alone?” I thought one day and began to say, “Being alone is also nice, isn’t it? We don’t NEED friends, we CHOOSE to have friends.”
When you are OK with being alone, you don’t become lonely…. You acknowledge it as a choice that you make without judging it…I mean judgement that being alone is weird, not cool or something that you need to feel sad about.
I just did not see it was her choice in the first place and even my daughter herself did not.
Recently we moved to Australia. When my children started their new school, both of them were nervous and excited, so I said to my daughter, “it is OK to be alone too…” Then I could see the message was sinking into her entire body and she got it. “It is OK to be alone…”
The other day when she was sitting alone at school, a group of children came up to her and said, “If you want, you can play with us!”
Those words, “if you want…” made her feel like her choice was respected and made her happy, because she can be on her own and also she can play with them and her decision was acknowledged.
When I look back on my life, I wonder how much I was truly showing who I was and how OK with my choices I was without judging them, even if some of my behaviors looked weird, not cool or even conspicuous. I just remember how busy I was trying to be the same as others, to be accepted by others.
Having friends does not have to cost that much, because people who truly care about you will make sure you are choosing that which works for you. Whatever you choose, they are happy and OK with it.
Are you allowing yourself to make choices without judging yourself for them?
Are your friends and family allowing you to make your own choices without judging them?
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