As a new mom for the second time almost eight years ago, I hesitantly showed up to a Moms group at my local church. It is something I never entertained before because with my older child I had been a working mother. This second baby offered me a new experience as a stay at home mama. I definitely had preconceived notions about the gathering of so many women in one room, but what came out of that experience, to my greatest delight, were two mamas who met, with two little peas from two different pods who become great besties in the coming years. Here’s how we helped foster their childhood friendship.
The moment I met my friend Jennie and her beautiful baby boy, I felt instantly connected. We were two mothers of a certain age that had some life experience under our SPANX. We shared a table every Tuesday which later became playdates and adventures that would be some of my most favorite memories. Yet, the most wondrous of all is the friendship of our two little peas from our very different pods.
Jennie’s little Robert and my Picklebug Nicholas are only four weeks apart. Two little boys who do little boy things. It was very important to us both as moms to cultivate this little childhood friendship in the most organic way without FORCING, but FOSTERING. We began to see them develop their personalities and interests and let them mesh together to create a blossoming little friendship. And guess what? A lot of this growth came out of learning to communicate and understand each other through healthy conflict.
The only intervention was for us to help them learn to verbalize real emotions and express perspective in how they saw the situation differently from each other. We never dismiss them or their feelings. We just guide them to convey their feelings and perspectives by honoring through active listening. The problem is never the actual circumstance. The issue is that someone doesn’t feel seen or heard. The idea is to teach them with the other person’s worldview through simple childhood conflict. Children offer great opportunities to role play thru simple challenges how to communicate. Kids are full of empathy and compassion and by honoring their difficulties as opportunities to get to the root of understanding one another, we develop healthy adults who can communicate with clear boundaries.
After eight years together, these friends have found a harmony in their friendship. Robert is a natural born leader. He is fearless and very outgoing. Nicholas is more optimistically cautious. Robert has taken delight in helping Nicholas to be brave. Nicholas is the voice of reason and is always wanting to keep his friend safe. He loves to encourage his friend in everything including him losing his teeth. One thing for sure, they never find disagreement in bathroom humor and boy noises. Because the world is upside down and inside out, our time together has been limited. The boys have recently taken ownership of their relationship by creating video messages that are so hilarious and totally fitting to their unique relationship. Watching them blossom in this childhood friendship has done our mama hearts so good. These boys truly have such admiration for one another and their moms are kinda cool friends, too.