When Friendships Fizzle

I suppose the silver lining to that golden rule is that all bad things must come to an end too. At some point anyway.

Even if you’re up to your chin in moist festering crud, the tide of wretched crap will eventually recede. And though treading water in a sea of sludge isn’t pleasant, at least there will ultimately be an end to your suffering.

But what about when GOOD things come to an end? Things you don’t want to let go or have torn away. Like friendships— when a relationship is meaningful one day, then missing the next.

I’ve been there. You probably have too. Losing a friend is awful at any age. It seriously hurts.

But what about children? How do we teach them that it happens to everyone and that’s it’s okay? Or that it will be okay once the sting subsides.

This is something we’re working through at the moment.

Friends grow apart. Especially when interests begin to vary. Say one friend is creative and loves to read and the other lives and breathes hockey. Once inseparable, the weekly interaction begins to wane until they haven’t spoken in months. Phone calls go unreturned and your child finally acknowledges the loss by saying, “I guess I’ve been ditched,” with a look of sad resignation on his face that makes you cringe.

What do you tell him? 
You know he’s right but you don’t want to hurt him. So you tell him what a great friend he is and remind of the other terrific friends he knows. You talk about the good times he’s had with his old buddy and explain that relationships bloom and fade all the time. It’s normal. And it’s okay. And that he’s okay just the way he is.

Have you had to deal with a situation like this with your child?

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