For the first time, my two boys are attending a day camp all summer long. They come home at the end of the day stinky, dirty and exhausted. I’m in love with all of it!
However, with this new summer camp comes new friends for both my children. My 6 year old is unfazed by the idea of a bunch of new faces. He has just graduated Kindergarten where ALL kids are friends ALL the time. My ten year old, on the other hand, is at an age where he has become keenly aware of how other kids respond to him. He’ll be in fifth grade soon and certainly feels that huge tug to be liked and accepted.
He and I revisited our conversation from the beginning of the school year – he was so brave about leaving old friends and starting in a new school district. We talked about how sometimes when we meet new people, we may wonder if we should maybe pretend to like things we don’t, or know about things we don’t really know about… fast-tracking acceptance can sometimes feel important.
However, our conversation ended at the same place it did at the beginning of the school year. While it may seem important to be liked by everyone, one of the things that makes life truly awesome is having one or two real friends – people who like you for you.
I asked him, “Why not let these summer kids know the real you?”You never know when someone you meet over the summer can turn out to be a true constant in your life. Summer friends can be real friends too. Click To Tweet
So, I think that’s what he’s choosing to do – to bravely be himself and see what happens.
We also talked about what qualities a potential friend might have – and how it is always ok to stop spending time with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself. As my kids get older, I am often reminded of the power of choice. Everyday is filled with moments where we can choose to be the kind of person we want to be. I hope I’m modeling good choices for my children, and I hope I’m arming them with the confidence to make good choices for themselves.
As many of you know, I am a #TalkEarly ambassador for Responsibility.org. This post is sponsored by them, but opinions are always my own. I’m so glad I am a part of promoting a “culture of conversation” between parents and kids. I’m hoping these smaller conversations we have about things like summer friends will keep the doors of communication open when it comes to bigger things down the road.
I am not the perfect mother and they are not perfect children because there is no such thing…
But this groundwork of trust and communication feels so damn good. It’s actually one thing I feel like I’m doing really right.
I love having my kids come home from Summer Camp filthy and sun-kissed.
I love that they are brave enough to make new friends all over again…
and I love that they talk to me about all of it.