As a person who only has a very small handful of close friendships, I feel as if I can write about this subject from an insiders view.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a hard time making friends with people. My lifestyle just doesn’t quit mesh well with others. Growing up, I never got the invites that everyone else did, because I held standards that others did not. Everyone knew that I wasn’t the one to go ahead and do what I wasn’t supposed to do.
Now, I cringe as I see my children going through the same thing. We raise our children with Godly standards. They know that they can’t do as others do. (Doesn’t mean that they are perfect or won’t try to do wrong, and I know that not all other kids are bad or do wrong.) They don’t get the invites that everyone else does. They struggle with making friends.
Essie recently was invited to a sleepover and it was her first one that did not include family. I was apprehensive at first, because she doesn’t know how to “play” well with others, on a normal level. Because of her ADHD, she can be more selfish than other kids her age. That’s just the way her mind works. I picked her up the next day, asked her how everything went, and she had fun. Of course I asked if she played with any of her classmates from dance, and she said no. I was disheartened at first, then she said, “Momma, there was one girl that played with me a lot.” I asked her what her name was and she didn’t remember, but knew that she had a lot of freckles! I was just glad that she found a new friend out of several that were in attendance!
It’s hard to make her understand that just because she “knows” several people, doesn’t mean that she will have friendships with all of them. Some people just mesh well with others and are great friends from the first moment they meet. I have to remind her that she MUST be as polite as possible to everyone, whether they treat her the same way or not. She has a hard time with this concept.
My oldest, Josie, has a few friends that are more acquaintances. She eats lunch with them at school and such. However, when it comes to a true friendship, I believe she has 2. Her birthday party was a disappointment. We do not listen to secular music and because we wouldn’t play the junk that is popular today, most of the ones who came left and went to another party where the parents are more lenient. It was a hard lesson for her to learn, but she learned a big one about priorities and who will use you for what reason.
My boys are pretty much the same way. They don’t really have anyone to claim as friends. It’s heartbreaking to hear your 12 year old son say, “Why don’t I ever get invited anywhere?” He literally has no one. He also has ADHD and had trouble when he was younger developing a friendship. He is not in sports and is more drawn to anything music/instruments related.
The “REAL” world is cruel. People look out for themselves and what they can gain from any given situation, and their children have learned these ways. It makes me glad that my children have honored the values that we have instilled in them. I just wish other parents would teach their children that “social status” and “popularity” is not everything. It often leads to a road of brokenness because you can’t always “Keep up with the Jones'”. I’d rather my children have 1 or 2 close friendships that mean something, than lots of fake friendships that destroy, compete, and tear you down.
If you are a parent, ask yourself “What type of child am I raising? Have I taught them the golden rule of treating others as they would like to be treated?” Or do you teach them, “An Eye for an Eye?”, or to look down on others who are not like them or share your beliefs?
Karen, who owns a coffee and Christian gift shop with her husband, lives in a small town in Tennessee just slightly south of where she was raised. She has been married to David, their town’s fire chief, for nearly 18 years. Together they have 4 children ranging in ages from 10 on up to 16. Karen’s heart longed to be a mother from a very young age & is a natural at being a “professional mother”. She is gifted in many areas & is guaranteed to keep you entertained! In addition to all of this, she is Emily’s older sister & one of Angie’s closest friends.
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