How to Help A Child Who is Struggling To Make Friends

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Don’t we all want to belong?

One of the advantages of adulthood is being able to selectively avoid new situations and, I suppose, that’s a reason, too, why more adults are lonelier than kids.  It sure is tough to make the transition from elementary school to junior high.  Even with old friends by our side, there are the inner jitters of a new place.  “Where do I go?” “What if I end up in the wrong class?” and then what happens if we meet some kid who just does not like our looks, our name, or the color of our backpack?  Don’t we all want to belong?

Junior high presents the firsthand conscious experience of fitting in or not.  Look back on your own experience and recall what memories are stirred up in that block of grades from sixth to eighth. I think of sitting next to Bill and laughing at our private jokes during class.  I remember, too, getting tackled on the playground by an eighth grader for the “fun” of it.  The guy who wrote the screenplay for the old movie, My Bodyguard, knew something about the difficulty of belonging in a new school.

So how do we help those whom we love punch through the necessary new events in life?  The simplest wisdom is that it will get better if you work at it.  When “get better” arrives is, of course, not guaranteed for this year.  Nonetheless, while most John Hughes movies suggest adolescent anguish is wrapped up in about two hours, helping kids see that sustained efforts at friendliness can pay off in the long run and in life, and is a durable lesson worth learning. Allowing a child to sort through options and experimenting with alternatives promotes the kind of growth school is about.  My son informed me shortly into the start of sixth grade year that a fellow classmate was peeing on him during showers after gym.  Three years of study at Northwestern University never covered that psychological topic.  Fortunately, with parental ballistic responses under firm control, Michael spoke up to the teacher and got the leak plugged.

Outside of school activities, it is important to encourage the interests the child expresses.  Finding a place to shine and a thing to do that is enjoyed for its own pleasure is a goal worth pursuing for the sake of contentment as well as personal achievement.  Having a natural refuge from some of the stresses of transition does much for the spirit.

Finally, we can do a great deal for our children’s hope by telling them that it really does get better as you get older.

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Infidelity doesn’t have to destroy a relationship

Infidelity in a relationship is often one of the hardest problems to overcome, yet rarely is it a serious sign that a relationship is over. There are couples that are completely devoted to one another yet involved with others outside the relationship. Of course, let’s not kid one another, infidelity can also mean the relationship is well beyond its save-by-date.

The difference between the two lies behind the reasons for infidelity. Have you ever wondered why people engage in extra-marital relationships? They will often tell you its more exciting, more fun and totally different to what they experience at home. But then, it should be. The whole experience is heightened by several factors, one of which is the fear of discovery and the second being the tasting of the forbidden fruit. If you could translate that to the home, things would be different there as well.

A relationship doesn’t have to end because one person in the relationship has been unfaithful. What is needed is a careful appraisal of where the relationship is and why that person found the need to venture outside the relationship. Once those issues have been dealt with, you will then need to deal with issues of trust.

When it comes to infidelity, what destroys the relationship is loss of trust. If you can rebuild that trust then the relationship can continue to grow, often much stronger than before. If you cannot rebuild the trust then that relationship could be doomed to failure. It will certainly see its fair share of arguments, accusations, and counter accusations.

If infidelity has affected your relationship, consider your options. Can you forgive, forget, and move on, or do you need help? If you need help, call us.  We can assist you in rebuilding the trust.

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