Tonight was on of those nights when I had to have a mother daughter conversation. One of the ones you really don't want to have. You know, one of those kind where you want to drill it into them but be nice all at the same time. Yes one of those!!
As most of you know my oldest is a soccer player, has been for many years. Lately she just has not been into it. Her coaches have notices, we have noticed, and even worse its been noticeable in her game. The coaches are being great about this, giving her time and space to find the "love" of the game again. They have talked with us to get our view point and have made changes to see her smile (I know what your thinking... yes we have great coaches for April!!).
Now as a parent, I had to take a step back, think about how I was going to approach this when I sat her down to talk, and which path I would take. I am not the most understanding person when I am confronted with unnecessary tears. Which happens often with three of my four being little girls. I wanted to make sure that I didn't direct her incorrectly, and I am happy with the out come.
I let her tell me her feelings on the subject and what she shared of course was heart breaking because she is my little girl. But honestly we all face this same issue in life. April shared with me that the friendships she once had are no longer there and that hurts her feelings. She misses her once friends. She went on to share that she gets frustrated with the unkind things that some of the girls say, how they are rude to her, or even at times purposely mean. Lastly she shared how she was upset because she feels like she has to overly try just to be noticed.
Hard to hear any of it to be honest with you. I know all of these little girls, some for years. I know their families, how they are being taught and what values they have been given. Thus why we are on this team. So I had to take a deep breath, hide my own disappointment and hurt I felt for her. I had to advise her the best way I knew how.
I told her to not care what others think of her. Everyone's opinions are pointless compared to the one she has of herself. Someone is not your friend if they are only your friend when others are not around, they are not your friend if they tease you or make fun of you. I told her little girls are mean, that sometimes she can be mean herself. I told her to remember these feelings when someone who may not be so cool at school wants to play with her, or if someone she doesn't get along with needs help or a kind smile. I told April that out side of soccer she has her true set of friends. The ones who want to know how her day went, that want to hang out, those who enjoy her company. I told her to toughen up and have thicker skin. I told her that they don't matter as long as she is happy with herself.
Lastly I talked with her about her choices. That if she wasn't happy with soccer or this team that she could leave after the season. April would hear none of that, stating that even though they may not be her friends that is her soccer family. I am proud of my daughter. I hope that this rough time will make her stronger. That those around her will learn from her strength, and will learn a little more kindness from hers.
Sometimes life throws us a curve ball, and you want to always make things better for your kids. I refuse to change my kid or ask her to change just to please someone else. I want April to be who she is and strive to be the best of that. Some people won't like what I have said or how I teach my children. To bad. My children will learn to be stronger better people for it.