When Your Child Misses His Old Friends

I received an email today from a mom who had moved recently. Her son hasmade new friends, but really didn't think the new one's where as good as the old ones he was missing.

Here's my note back to her.

So, the easiest thing to do is for him to get a few things clear in his mind:

1. His heart does not have one or two spots for friends (competition and comparison)...it has hundreds and hundreds of spots. Once a friend has a spot, just let them have it forever 🙂 New friends get new spots in your heart!

2. Help him process that you are not moving back. He may 'know' this, but it probably isn't articulated and owned. He probably needs to say "We are not moving back" about 70 times. Once he knows that fact deep down, he will start making good use of where he is.

3. Answer him with, "So what?" Then when he answers, ask "So what?" again. Honestly, so what if his old friends were better? Why does that matter?

4. Help him understand a better story about friendship. Friendship grows over time. He's comparing long-term friends to recent friends (not fair). Set a date in the future when he will have known his new friends as long as the old friends...then on that date, sit down and ask him to compare the friendships. Between now and then we can drop the discussion because it isn't fair.

Hope that helps,

Fred Ray Lybrand

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