One of the things that I have always tried to do is to make sure that I shared the lessons that life has handed me on to my daughter. Particularly about interactions with people and specifically friends.
While I can not teach her how to be a friend per se, I can teach her about being a good person. Sharing things like the golden rule, considering the feelings of others, talking about compassion and even empathy.
She has always been a person that cared for people. One who hates to see people hurting. Please don’t cry in front of her.
She was almost brought to tears last summer when the waiter at Cracker Barrel was being too nice. Felt like he was practically begging for a tip. She wanted to know what his life must have been like to have to work so hard to be nice. Crazy right?
He sincerely apologized when I asked him if he had forgot to bring something I requested. I wasn't mean or rude and I even said how he was so very nice. He really was just being a good waiter. She almost cried cause she said why does he have to apologize like that? people make mistakes mom…
She was serious.
So as I sit here and watch her shedding tears after finding out that her friend whom she thought was her BFF, lied to her, about something pretty serious. I struggle.
I struggle to find the words to explain to her that this, it happens in life. We are all on a journey. She may not be a bad person. But this may be a lesson she has to learn from as well as her friend.
She said through snot and tears, “but mom, why am I always a good friend to people who are not a good friend back to me?”
I had no words.
But God gave me these….
We are all flawed. We all miss the mark sometimes. Not everyone is being taught about being a good friend and so they learn in life by coming in contact with people who actually are good friends. It's action that teaches and shows. So don’t change who you are because your feelings got hurt. Just keep being a good friend and someone who is worthy of having your friendship will appreciate and reciprocate it.
This just made me think that while you got everything else covered, make sure you are teaching your children about what being a real friend is. Teach them about what can happen when you hurt someone's feelings. The golden rule. Honesty. Integrity. Compassion and all that good stuff.
The world is a better place with good friends in it.