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The Day I Realized How My Daughter Chose Friends

I checked back in with Bethany’s mother by phone two weeks later. It’s called follow through. (I don’t think enough of us are doing that. We “helicopter” over our kids’ wardrobes, nutrition, sleep schedules, hygiene, science fair projects and then pride ourselves on how “hands off” we are on social issues. If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to say, “Seriously? You micro-manage the literal crap out of everything your child does from his gluten intake to his soccer cleats, but THIS you stay out of?” No wonder there’s zero accountability and a bullying culture!) Bethany’s mother assured me that she had been welcomed into the fold of friendship and was doing well.

Bethany’s family moved to another state a few years later. My daughter cried when they parted ways. They still keep in touch through all their social media channels. She was and is a really cool girl, with a lot to offer her peers. But the real value was to my daughter, obviously. She gained so much through that experience. She is now a 20-year-old college sophomore, with a widely diverse group of friends. She is kind, inclusive and open to all types of people. When she was malleable, impressionable and mine to guide:

—She learned her initial instinct about people isn’t always correctly motivated.

—She learned you can be friends with the least likely people; the best friendships aren’t people that are your “type!” In the world of friendship, contrast is a plus.

—She learned that there are times, within a given social framework, that you are in a position to make a withdrawal on behalf of someone else. Be generous, invest! It pays dividends.

But, most importantly, she learned that, while I may not be overly-interested in what she gets on her Science Fair project, couldn’t care less if she’s Lactose Intolerant or whether her long blonde hair is snarled, she’s going to damn well treat people right.

Parents—your kids are going to eventually develop the good sense to wear a jacket and eat vegetables, invest your energy in how they interact within society. If we insist on being the hovering Helicopter Parent Generation, let’s at least hover over the right areas.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”~Proverbs 22:6

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chose friends

Leslie Blanchard
Leslie Blanchard
On a beautiful afternoon at the end of January this year, Leslie’s life was irrevocably changed when the Love of her Life, her husband of 33 years and father of their 5 children was killed in a motorcycle accident. Prior to that, Leslie’s blog had been a mostly comical chronicle of marriage with a large family of teens and millennials. Now she shares her daily experiences as she comes to terms with her profound sadness and shock, coupled with an effort to ever-capture even the lighter side of the most unimaginably painful challenges life can throw one’s way. She has been featured in Your Teen Magazine, and on websites such as Blunt Moms, Scary Mommy, BonBon Break, Today's Parent, BlogHer, and Faithit. She has been interviewed on NPR and is also proud to be liberally splashed about The Huffington Post in the United States, France, Spain, Japan, Quebec and Germany. Read more from Leslie on her blog A Ginger Snapped, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

12 Little-Known Facts About Kate Middleton: The Duchess of Cambridge’s Enduring Popularity

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has charmed the world with her grace, style, and unwavering commitment to her royal duties. Here, we look at what people have fallen in love with.

Teen Kicked Out of Christian School for Performing in Venues that Serve Alcohol

Bailey Griggs, a promising young singer-songwriter, from Cramerton Christian Academy in North Carolina was recently expelled from her senior year after the school learned that she was performing in venues that serve alcohol.

Grandma Sees Man on News—Suddenly, She Knows Where She Saw That “Small Dark-Haired” Boy 30 Yrs Ago

"The first time I saw it, I just couldn’t hardly believe it..."