Naturally when you see your own children going through the same events you went through in high school, it brings back feelings of your own struggles, insecurities and fears of those times. My daughter wants to bad to fit in, and she’s watching her friends gain boyfriends and relationships, something she wants badly for herself. My wife and I can relate to these times so much.
As anyone knows my schooling history, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a “ladies man”. I can count the number of boyfriend/ girlfriend relationships I had in high school safely on one hand- probably with a leftover or two. I didn’t struggle with friendships- I had plenty of those. A lot of times I didn’t understand the signals of when to ask people on dates, let alone keeping a girlfriend for longer than a couple of months. If people want to look at many of my early pictures, there are plenty on various social media websites to share.
What I did get across to my daughters (as did my wife) is that high school can be a tough time with peer relationships and finding oneself, and that things will be different when they enter adulthood. I know it’s probably disconcerting news as they go through this, but I promised that things will get better. Do I wish I could wave a magic wand and make things better? Of course… but I can’t because they need to go through these experiences themselves.
The best piece of advice I could give my daughters was the happiness and great qualities they exhibit within their personalities need to shine around their peers. People sense contentment and confidence. They like to be around people who are nice, who are willing to listen and who take an interest in them. I found that the more that I tried to gain a girlfriend, the less that ever happened for me.
So when your children come to you with the school blues of any sort, be willing to listen and offer them support. Emphasize the unique qualities they have and reassure them that they aren’t the only ones going through these same situations. It’s a natural stage of development in order to truly find oneself. College seems to make a difference, as well as when people move on from their family and live on their own.
Maybe these feelings are coming back due to the end of school vacation and the fact that my oldest once again will see boys and girls paired off, making her feel like a third wheel. Coming from that same experience, it made me focus on doing things that made me happy and being around a diverse peer group. It may have taken me longer to find the love of my life, but I know the years of waiting and working on myself were worth it.
Any other suggestions you may have for my daughters? I would welcome feedback as well as what seemed to work well if you went through these similar feelings or experiences.