An Open Letter To My Teenage Daughter About Friendship

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mother teen daughter
Three pieces of advice I wish I'd known when I was her age.

My daughter is in her first year of high school and navigating the world of girl drama, boyfriends and school dances. As painful as it can be to watch her suffer through some of this, I want her to know a few things that I wish I'd known at her age. 

1. The road to best girlfriends is not a straight one. I met my oldest bestie when I was a pre-teen. In order to be my friend she needed to perform the perfect cartwheel. Happily, she passed but we didn't become best friends until years later as adult women. The Lifetime movie idea that you meet your best friend at age two and remain that way for the rest of your life seems to be unlikely at best, and a bit nerve-wracking for the average three-year-old who still hasn't found her girlfriend soulmate.  

2. It is possible, and probably preferable, to have more than one best girlfriend in your life. We seek out and enjoy the company of different friends at different stages of the lifecycle. Had I assumed that I would have only one main girlfriend squeeze I would have shut the door on some serious soul sisters that have come my way at different stages of my life. Motherhood brought different friends, my work puts me in contact with a whole different group and as my girlfriends know, I like to save room for the periodic stranger that I meet who must immediately be a new soul sister.  

3. You don't have to be friends with everyone, but try not to be enemies with anyone. Teenaged girls can be brutal gossips, self-centered brats, boyfriend stealing sneaks and unreliable friends. Yet they are just children trying to learn their way in the world, sometimes learning it through mistakes. Adult women can be the same way. No need to spend a lot of time with people like this but maybe it's okay to know that they, like you, are flawed and trying to find the best way to live their lives. At one time or another, I've been all of these things and I'm blessed beyond belief that most of my friends held on for the ride and forgave me of my sins. Your bestie might just be the girl who seems the most unlikely right now.  

So my beautiful girl, be patient, be kind, stay strong and know that girlfriends are simply girls like you learning how to be a friend. If I had known at 15 years old that I would have these spectacular women in my life, I wouldn't have believed it. So for now try to enjoy the ride and keep the faith; the wonder of female friendship awaits you in all its twisted, blissful glory.

Lisa Kaplin is a life coach, professional speaker, and psychologist at www.smartwomeninspiredlives.com You can reach her at Lisa@smartwomeninspiredlives.com

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Article contributed by

Dr. Lisa Kaplin

YourTango Expert Partner

Dr. Lisa J. Kaplin is a life coach and psychologist you can reach her at:

www.smartwomeninspiredlives.com

 

Location: Chicago, IL
Credentials: CPC, ELI-MP, MS, PsyD
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