One thing I have learned in my 9 years as a mom is that every stage of your child’s life comes with challenges.
When you have a newborn, you think the sleepless nights, walking around like a zombie and changing diapers all day is the hardest part of being a parent. Then you enter into that toddler phase of chasing after them so they don’t kill themselves or someone else! Once your child enters school, homework and scheduling and play dates become the juggling act and you find something challenging every day about this parenting gig.
One thing I had to deal with recently, that I was not expecting, was the break up of my son’s friendship with his best bud since preschool. Navigating the social lives of our children becomes increasingly harder and more dramatic as they get older. What was worse about this dilemma was the fact that I am really close with the mom of the best friend who he was falling out with. This posed a concern for us as friends. How can we still hang out if our kids don’t get along?
The other concern was how much to get involved. As moms, we want to fix everything and this was so true for this obstacle. When I asked my son what had happened he didn’t really have an answer and really what it came down to was that they had grown apart. Friendships grow and change and even kids can find themselves growing apart.
So how should I deal with this? My answer was to just let it be. This is a hard concept as a mom, but as our kids get older, it is more and more apparent that they need to navigate their own path. With all of the recent talk about “snowplowing parents,” I feel like I am doing my son a disservice by trying to fix every problem he encounters. I know this is only the first of many battles he will have to deal with, especially socially. I want him to grow up with the skills to take on these issues head on and to be ok if he messes up.
So, the one thing that I learned from this whole friend break up was that my son is growing up and as much as that makes me sad, I need to be ok with him learning to deal with the issues that arise on his own. In the end, he will make the best decision for himself and I will always be there to catch him when he falls.
Update: he and his BFF are totally fine and planning a play date this weekend, which just goes to show how fleeting these moments truly are to kids!