My daughter was in tears last night at bed time. Her tears were because a friend hurt her feelings. A few careless and hurtful words flippantly said at recess broke her little heart and rocked her world. Kids can be mean, and yes, hurt feelings are a part of growing up. But my mommy heart still ached for her. My gut reaction wasn’t to just listen, but to instead jump in and “fix it”. I was tempted to start listing off all of the amazing friends she has. I wanted to tell her that she shouldn’t let one mean girl upset her when she has so many other awesome friends in her life. I wanted to highlight all of her amazing qualities and interests and reassure her that “so and so’s” opinion didn’t matter.
The thing I quickly realized though was that “so and so’s” opinion DID matter. When I chose to listen, I saw quickly that it mattered to my daughter. The words were hurtful and I couldn’t solve it for her. So….I just sat, created a safe space for her to talk and listened.
Just listening is HARD! I felt helpless. Every tear, every disappointment, and every bit of grief our kids go through hits us mama bears right in the gut. But the lesson I learned from my daughter last night, was that she didn’t need me to solve this for her. She needed me to be there. She needed to be heard and for me to LISTEN!
Fixing things for our kids is part of the job. But as moms we also need to trust our instincts, hear what our kids have to say and teach kindness. I know this is certainly not the last time a friend will upset her, but my hope is that the next time I remember to just LISTEN!