My daughter and I have had quite a few conversations lately about friends. Mainly about how people should like you for you, not for what you can do for or give to them. This is easier said than done for today’s 12 year old. At least once a week she tells me that she stuck up for someone or did something for someone only because she wanted them to like her.
I remember being that age when your friends were a type of status symbol. I didn’t have many friends growing up so when I was able to connect with someone I held onto them at all costs. I remember my first kiss, his name was Carl. We were in the 7th grade and I only kissed him because my friend Kim told me that I had to. Did I really have to? No, of course not. Did I like it? No, of course not, I thought it was gross. But Kim was my best friend, the only friend I had and I would do anything to make sure she never got angry with me.
When is it that we finally grow out of that thought process? When do we realize that we are enough? That we are worthy of being friends simply because we are great people, not because we have something magical to give?
How can I communicate this to my daughter to cut out some of the hardships that I had to go through? And really, should I? Maybe these hardships are life lessons that we all must go through. Maybe those hardships are exactly how I became the person that I am today and maybe they will help her become the awesome person that I know she will one day become.