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Article by Wendy McCance
One of my daughters had an incredibly rough year at school. I am relieved that the school year is about over because she really needs a break. Out of all of her years in school, this year has been the year that has opened my daughters eyes the most to how she feels about herself.
Last summer, my daughter was struggling to have a relationship with her father. Lets just say that last summer was very emotional for her and the outcome was not good.
My daughter started the school year in a really low state of mind. She held on to one or two friends from her childhood, but got involved with a very different group of girls than what she was usually drawn to.
Past school years, my daughter did well in her classes, had supportive friends and felt good about herself. She was active in a variety of activities and was fairly happy.
This year, her grades were abominable, the friends she made were with kids who had a poor home life, lied often and could care less about their schoolwork. These kids were known for pushiness and put downs. When any of these kids were at odds with each other, the bullying that went on was heartbreaking.
Through counseling, some dramatic adjustments in friendships and a new outlook on her relationship with her father, my daughter is starting to come around. It’s been a long painful process, but I am hoping that by the next school year, my daughter will be on a better track.
Through many talks I have had with my daughter, the one question that keeps coming up is how my daughter ended up in such a horrible group of girls. My daughter has had a hard time understanding how she was drawn to a group of girls so different from the type of girls she would usually enjoy associating with.
We had to dissect her feelings about herself to get to the core of the decisions she was making. My daughter had a major blow to her self-esteem. She felt rejected by her father and was left with a feeling of low self-worth. She gravitated towards the people who represented how she felt about herself.
As she has begun to fix her own feelings of herself, it’s been like a light switch. She now sees these girls she hung out with in a whole new way. She doesn’t like what she sees and has been distancing herself from those she now views as toxic influences in her life.
This summer we are going to get her active in some acting classes. Acting is one of her passions. Connecting with an activity that has brought her so much pleasure will be another way for her to work on healing herself. It also helps that she will be with like-minded girls in these classes.
The point of this story is that sometimes a person loses a sense of themself. One of the best ways to determine where you are in life and how you might want to improve on who you are is to look at the company you keep. Are your friends bringing you up, making you feel good about yourself and supporting you? If so, you are in a good place. If you notice that you are putting in all of the work to keep a friendship going, feel let down often and looked upon unfavorably, it’s time to reevaluate who you are and what you want to be.
My daughter realizes that she wants to get rid of any toxic people in her life. She wants to be open, giving and supportive of her friends. More importantly though, she wants friendships with girls who are open, giving and supportive towards her as well.
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