Wednesday, April 29, 2009


How do I, as a mom, keep my childhood social anxieties out of my kids' social lives?

This is something that I struggle with and an excellent example is currently underfoot.

Curly has a friend who is currently not feeling very friendly. Yesterday Curly came home and said that Friend wouldn't say "bye", wouldn't wave and crossed her arms and turned away when Curly spoke to her. She was hurt and confused, but said to me that she hadn't done anything to cause her friend to be upset. I am well aware girls can be this way and was sure it would blow over overnight.

Forward to this morning and Friend doesn't want to get together for their usual play date after school. She's "too tired", a story I don't buy. I think she doesn't want to play and the adult in her life is trying to be socially appropriate with the tired excuse.

I do not think it is in my child's nature to be purposely mean. I guess all moms might think that, but I just don't believe it. I can't imagine Curly having done something to warrant this on purpose. I think this is either all a misunderstanding OR Friend feels like being mean. I don't know. But I have had a stomach ache all morning and I feel ready to cry. They were such good friends. How could this be?

See, I was always taught to be nice. And I am. But I took it too far as a kid. I never made waves. Never spoke up. If someone asked me for money for a soda I would give it to them, even though I knew, despite what they said, they would never pay me back. I wanted them to like me. I wanted to be friends and I thought being nice was how to get friends. If someone was mean to me, I internalized it and found fault within myself.

So when Curly has these issues I have a 3 part problem:

1) I flash back to how I was and I don't want that for her. I want her to be able to look at her friends and say 'What the heck is the matter with YOU?" I don't want her to be like me, trying to curry favor all the time.

2) My normal Mommy desire to get to the bottom of it and fix it.

3) The fact that I know I must allow her to navigate through these things somewhat on her own.

Sometimes, being a mommy sucks. This is one of those times.


  1. I had to post this...Not sure how much it relates to your post but it just made me think of when we were little and worrying about who we were going to be friends with and who to play with. I remember when you moved to Dublin. I ran home as fast as I could and told my mom there was a new girl and school and I wanted to be friends with her sooo bad! :) here we are how many years later? Good times!

  2. Awwwwwwww! You always were a true friend to me. Thanks for that!