My daughter has been coming to me for years – talking about how the ins and outs of best friends liking her one day and dropping her the next. It’s been an eye opener for me as I can’t ever remember having to navigate around female friendships like she is doing at school.
In hindsight I think I avoided a lot of the tricky friendships by specialising in music and the arts during lunch and recess times. I was constantly busy! However, later on I needed to learn the skills of how to stick up for myself and develop healthy, supportive friendships. Here are some of the tips I passed on to my daughter.
5 Tips for Handling Tricky Female Friendships
Conflict in a friendship is normal
Let our girls know ALL friendships have conflict. So don’t throw away a friendship because of a fight.
Step back, look at the friendship and ask if it’s worth moving past. Be willing to apologise.
Boundaries are EVERYTHING
Kids can’t be expected to know how to do something straight away. To start with we need to take the time to show them the basics. Demonstrating how to peel a carrot or throw a ball is part of coaching and completely necessary for our kids to grasp a concept. We might need to demonstrate at least 5 times before it clicks into place.
Keep it between you & that person
If someone upsets you — don’t discuss it with everyone else or punish them. That’s called CREATING A DRAMA CYCLONE. Take the person aside and talk to them privately. Not over text. Big conversations have no place online — do it in person.
You don’t own your friends
Being possessive is a HUGE TURN OFF and makes you look needy. Your friends are allowed to be friends with other people. Let your friends explore other friendships without feeling scared they are “replacing” you.
Choose wisely who you share your stories with….
Before you trust someone, ask yourself, “Has this person earned the right to hear my story?” Don’t open up and share personal stories with people who don’t have you best interests at heart.
The main rule of thumb is, you don’t have to be friends with everyone at school, but you need to be kind. Why? Because school is so much easier and more enjoyable when you make the decision to look out for one another. Girls supporting girls.