My 11 year old “Big girl” asked me a question yesterday that I honestly had a hard time answering..She asked me why the girls that’s she’s “friends” with, kids that she’s with everyday, turn on her. Why can one day be, that she’s greeted by a gal pal with a hello and a smile, and the next day, ignored by the same. Why is it that one day, she can be laughing and having fun with a group of girls, and the next day be given the cold shoulder and made to feel as if she doesn’t belong with them. I know that this is small potatoes compared to the stories of bullying that I read about. Stories where families have had to completely relocate to escape it. But, nonetheless, it pains me to feel as if my beautiful, kind, warm hearted daughter is struggling socially. I tried to explain that this is just a stage that tweens and teens seem to go through. It won’t be this way forever. I told her that I really don’t understand why it is this way. Why leaving someone out of the group would make anyone in that group feel good. I also reminded her that a fair weather friend is not someone to confide in. That she needs to maybe share her secrets with only her siblings, because, at the end of the day, maybe blood is thicker then water. They may bicker, but would never betray her. I reminded her that a good friend is hard to find. A true friend will stand with you at all times, be there for her no matter what. I also told her that, since she has experienced the feelings of not quite fitting in, not being sure of where she stands with her “friends”, that she should never participate in this behavior. If she should ever be in a group where someone else was being made to feel unwelcome, speak up on their behalf! If she sees someone sitting by themselves, go on and sit next to them, make them feel welcome. Making another uncomfortable should never make her feel good. Also, to understand how special a good friend is and to have a good friend, means being a good friend.

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