I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and a post that I saw, especially the comments, really stuck with me, and now, because it’s been bothering me for a few days, I feel like I should address it.
A sweet mom was lamenting over a boy who broke up with her (now) broken-hearted nine-year-old. Although my first thought was, “Nine-year-olds should NOT have boyfriends!!!” my second thought was wrapped up in the comments:
“Take that sweet baby shopping – a little retail therapy will do both your hearts good.”
“Sounds like mommy-daughter mani-pedis are to heal that broken heart.”
“Go get two pints of Blue Bell ice cream and plant yourselves in front of a movie tonight.”
Unfortunately, ALL of those remedies sound like great band-aids to help someone feel better TODAY, but what about long-term social-emotional growth and healing? Those are absolutely the buzzwords in education right now but think about it. When I look at myself in the mirror and see a slightly squishy version of myself, and when I look at my Amazon account and see an inflated somewhat cart, I realize that a lot of the reasons for those two things are rooted in how I was encouraged to make myself feel better. Should we be teaching/training our nine-year-old mini-mes to require a new pair of shoes to mend a broken heart? Or a pint of Texas Two-Stop Blue Bell? Or an expensive indulgent trip to the spa? Please understand me when I say this because I thoroughly enjoy all of those things…
How do I want my daughter to cope?
How do I wish I had been trained to cope?
These are questions you’ll need to answer on your own (I mean, I’ll help by leaving some ideas at the end), but be very intentional with your guidance as you encounter these moments in life. You have a fantastic opportunity to help mold the most fantastic human ever.
If you’re looking for ideas, here’s a starting point: go for a run, write a letter – then feel free to rip it up, snuggle in a blanket and watch a feel-good movie, do yoga, snuggle with the dog, read the bible, facetime with a friend or Grandma, do something you used to do when you were little – like play cards, build a pillow fort. How about teaching your kiddo to bake bread or an old family recipe? I know that it’s easier to run out for a pedicure, but create these special bonds when you have the chance. You may have to endure an eye roll, but you’re creating lifelong habits for social and emotional well-being.