Is your daughter – or sometime she knows – struggling right now?
One of the beautiful qualities of teenage girls is, they are passionate about helping each other.
The hard part is, sometimes, healthy boundaries get blurred in the process.
When your daughter’s talking with a friend who’s struggling, she may:
- Feel like she needs to “fix” her friends tough situation
- Take on her friend’s stress (she believes that makes her a better friend)
- Struggle with her own thoughts and emotions about what’s happening / happened
- Indulge in or catastrophize the situation and create a mountain out of molehill
What’s important for your daughter to recognize and understand is healthy relationships are built by being honest and vulnerable together – not by taking on her friends problems or being responsible for a solution.
If you notice a significant change in your daughter’s appearance or mood after she interacts with a friend who’s having trouble, it’s okay to validate her efforts to be a good friend, while also expressing your concern for her well being.
You may say something like, “I admire your effort to be a good friend to ‘Susie,’ though I’m concerned about your well being, too. Please let me know if YOU need someone to talk to.”
So often teenage girls don’t know what to say, and that’s okay.
Here are 4 approaches your daughter can take to create a supportive environment and honor healthy friendship boundaries.
4 powerful ways your teenage daughter can help a friend who’s struggling:
1.) Let her know you’re listening
You can do this by saying, “I hear the pain / sadness / discord / frustration in your voice.”
2.) Offer her Hug
Hold on for 6 seconds – that’s the amount of time it takes for your body to release oxytocin – the feel good, bonding, loving hormone.
3.) Ask her one question
“What can I do to help you right now?”
4.) Offer up support that feels right for you
Try saying, “I may not have the answer or solutions, though I will
… pray for you
… send positive energy your way
… ask the universe to give you strength
Here are a few things I’d encourage you to AVOID saying to your friend:
- “Oh yeah, that happened to me too, but it was even worse.”
- “Just get over it.”
- “Seriously, move on already.”
- “Oh, that’s not worth your time, forget about it.”
Above all, take a moment to step back and honor your friend – and yourself – and where you are in your journey.
You’re both working hard to create the life you crave, and sometimes you get stuck, veer off your path or decide to take an entirely different route.
Let’s all remember how good it feels to love and be loved.
PS – Encourage your daughter to make a pact with her friends … if someone needs immediate support – call 911.
PPS – You and your daughter deserve a thinking partner that will help you create the path to success you’re ready for.
Get on my calendar by setting up a Discovery Session and let’s get started.