I logged on to social media one night and saw a status from a friend who was obviously upset about her daughter not being invited to party hosted by someone she believed was her friend. In today’s world, being left out means not only are you not invited but you get to see every picture on social media of what you are missing all night long. You know every detail of who was and was not invited, people comment on how much fun it is and you are watching this all from your room sitting by yourself on Saturday night wondering…… what’s wrong with me?
I realize to people who do not have a daughter or son in this situation, you think to yourself… “Get over it. That’s life!” I am not talking about it happening for one party. I am talking about weeks, months and in some cases over a year. I know the people who have been through it, if you are one of those parents, your heart sinks. You recall the nights your child sat alone upset, you recall the times you had events and invited every kid. Then you have the parents who are so happy their kid is included, they do not care to speak up and they want to pretend they have no idea what you are talking about. Trust me, I have been there.
When I read her Facebook status, my heart sank for her because I knew exactly what she was going thru. It took me a minute to realize it but at that point in time, I had an “ah-ha moment”. We were long past it! Then I started to reflect on what we learned from this painful experience and I wanted to share them with you. If you are going through it, maybe it will help you to realize it is a part of growing up and believe it or not good things that can come from it.
1) Real friendship: Your child will learn that you don’t go have to go with the crowd all the time. They will learn the definition of a “real” friend and will be tested many times on how to be one. The best way to have a good friend is to be a good friend.
2) Loyalty: You learn that there are acquaintances and there are real friends. You don’t need everyone to be your best friend but as you go thru the teenage years, you need to know who has your back and you need to return the favor. Being loyal is hard because it means choosing what’s best for someone else and not yourself at the time. You can’t teach loyalty!
3) Empathy: Being left out teaches children empathy. You quickly learn to put yourself in other people shoes and become more inclusive.
After all the reality is, the mean girls or boys themselves are hurting in some way as well. They have an insecurity or issue at heart they cannot deal with it and so they channel their energy in negative ways that makes them feel better about themselves. You need to choose if you are going to give them power or not. Focus on the life lessons and make them a teaching moment. In the long run, it all works out and the reality is your child is only going to be stronger and better apt to face issues in the future.
Buzzworthy lesson: There is a lesson to be learned in every situation even the not so fun ones. I would hold off on sending the thank you notes for the lesson 😊