This blog is nine years old. My daughter, The Girl, is 10 and in 5th grade. It’s hard to be in 5th grade. Academics aside for a moment, it’s a time when relationships change. When children shed the friendships that defined their early years, and deepen new ones. It is the first time that we realize, “We never get accustomed to being less important to other people than they are to us.”
These normal changes in friendships are not so great when you still value the friendship from the early days. The Girl is struggling.
As a person who values personal relationships very highly and who held on to early-childhood friendships for far too long, I identify with this struggle. As a mother, I am doing all I can to lift up my daughter, to reinforce her sense of self, self-worth, and self-esteem. As my mother did for me at the same age.
A cursory glance at the Internet suggests that The Girl is not alone in feeling alienated by and excluded from what she thought was her friend group (example A, example B, example C) . The prevalent advice suggests that the answer is distract and plan alternatives. I’m trying. But it’s hard.