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StellaM

The Friend Thing - commiserate with me.

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Try the Unitarians. Ours is not a religious group, really a social justice club.

 

We don't have any UU youth groups where I live. Or churches. Sadly.

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If it helps any, about that age my friend group disintegrated, and I spent a lot of Jr. high in public school very alone and absolutely miserable.  Sometimes it's just a tough age.

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I was lonely and miserablish in jr high too, but this seems different (in DD's case).  She is genuinely grieving the loss of something that was in many ways quite wonderful.  I would say the grief is 50% less than it was in the first few weeks (back around Thanksgiving) but it is still very very present.  I am hoping that when we get established in our new community she will be able to make some friends or at least acquaintances and feel less grief.

 

It doesn't help that it's a hard time in life anyway, though.  The younger kids are not having much trouble with it at all - but their friendships in our old community were less serious too, I think, largely because they were homeschooled (or too young for school).  

 

I dunno, I'm just feeling sorry for DD again tonight as she is feeling sad.

 

Sadie, how is your boy?  Has soccer started yet?

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I was lonely and miserablish in jr high too, but this seems different (in DD's case).  She is genuinely grieving the loss of something that was in many ways quite wonderful.  I would say the grief is 50% less than it was in the first few weeks (back around Thanksgiving) but it is still very very present.  I am hoping that when we get established in our new community she will be able to make some friends or at least acquaintances and feel less grief.

 

It doesn't help that it's a hard time in life anyway, though.  The younger kids are not having much trouble with it at all - but their friendships in our old community were less serious too, I think, largely because they were homeschooled (or too young for school).  

 

I dunno, I'm just feeling sorry for DD again tonight as she is feeling sad.

 

Sadie, how is your boy?  Has soccer started yet?

 

Soccer training keeps getting rained out! 

 

He is a bit better this last week. I made more of an effort to get out and about with him, and spend time doing stuff, kwim ? So his mood is better. 

 

I really have my fingers crossed for a friend or two for your girl. 

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Ugh, I thought Australia was supposed to be sunny and dry?  

 

I have noticed that DD does better on days where we do something fun together and she has less time to dwell.  I am also not sure if our current choice of audiobook (Count of Monte Cristo) was a great idea, as it is not exactly an uplifting read/listen so far.  On the other hand, she does occasionally note that at least she doesn't have as bad a time as Dantes...

 

We have started a new sport, too - she saw her little sister at gymnastics class and looked so winsome that I offered to sign her up with the older beginners.  That has been a huge hit but they are on spring break this week so no class.

 

 

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I do commiserate with you (having experienced lonely periods without a friend), but I will say the opposite (well, perhaps not exactly opposite but certainly a different problem) is plaguing us lately. DD12 has a friend two houses down the block. This girl is about 9 months older and sooooo much more worldly than my DD. I overheard her telling DDs 12 & 7 that "having fat removed from your mid-section and injected into your butts and boobs will make you sexier", and then she went on to explain some 'new' technique to give yourself a tattoo by dipping a sterilized needle into ink and sticking it into your skin.

 

My girls are learning about cosmetic surgery and jailhouse tattoos from a 'friend'. Agghhhh...someone, please tell me this isn't happening! It's so hard to keep this girl out of our lives as she is on sports teams with my daughter, goes to the neighborhood pool we do, and is always outside/around. So while my heart goes out to your son, right now I'm thinking I would prefer no friends to a toxic one!

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I do commiserate with you (having experienced lonely periods without a friend), but I will say the opposite (well, perhaps not exactly opposite but certainly a different problem) is plaguing us lately. DD12 has a friend two houses down the block. This girl is about 9 months older and sooooo much more worldly than my DD. I overheard her telling DDs 12 & 7 that "having fat removed from your mid-section and injected into your butts and boobs will make you sexier", and then she went on to explain some 'new' technique to give yourself a tattoo by dipping a sterilized needle into ink and sticking it into your skin.

 

My girls are learning about cosmetic surgery and jailhouse tattoos from a 'friend'. Agghhhh...someone, please tell me this isn't happening! It's so hard to keep this girl out of our lives as she is on sports teams with my daughter, goes to the neighborhood pool we do, and is always outside/around. So while my heart goes out to your son, right now I'm thinking I would prefer no friends to a toxic one!

 It is true that there is no peer pressure when there are no peers! Silver lining and all that :)

 

I hate hearing little girls talking about cosmetic surgery. Ugh, They shouldn't even have a clue.

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DD had a friend (made from when she was in PS) who would come over to our house with magazines about body image and becoming a woman (getting your period) and etc.

 

She was 7 years old.  !

 

I dunno if DD would go for an online social group.  Possibly.  She is very resistant to my making friends for her.  She had a hard day today as it was the birthday of one of her friends from our old city; the three of them (the friends) went out to a movie together and called DD from the sleepover afterward.  She loved talking to them but of course it was also very hard and made for a good deal of serious weeping.

 

Ugh, we just need to meet some new kids already.

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Ds had pretty much all online friends at that age. It wasn't ideal but it wasn't the worst thing either. These young people spent hours discussing books, music, philosophy, and pretty much everything. The core group is older now and doesn't have as much time because of college and work, but they still discuss everything when they have time . In between discussions, they game.

 

Ds did have real life acquaintances during that time but he didn't connect with them in the same way as he did his online friends.

 

(I got to know a number of these young people too. A few of them have chosen to join me for teen Bible classes through Skype. )

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Ds had pretty much all online friends at that age. It wasn't ideal but it wasn't the worst thing either. These young people spent hours discussing books, music, philosophy, and pretty much everything. The core group is older now and doesn't have as much time because of college and work, but they still discuss everything when they have time . In between discussions, they game.

 

Ds did have real life acquaintances during that time but he didn't connect with them in the same way as he did his online friends.

 

(I got to know a number of these young people too. A few of them have chosen to join me for teen Bible classes through Skype. )

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

similar situation for my kid

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Ds had pretty much all online friends at that age. It wasn't ideal but it wasn't the worst thing either. These young people spent hours discussing books, music, philosophy, and pretty much everything. The core group is older now and doesn't have as much time because of college and work, but they still discuss everything when they have time . In between discussions, they game.

 

Ds did have real life acquaintances during that time but he didn't connect with them in the same way as he did his online friends.

 

(I got to know a number of these young people too. A few of them have chosen to join me for teen Bible classes through Skype. )

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

DD has some good friends online, too.  There are girls at the barn, but none she socializes with outside of the barn.

 

On weekend nights, she calls herself a loser because she has no friends with whom to go out.  It breaks my heart.  She is lonely.

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Sadie, I haven't chimed in yet (I don't think, I may have posted something weeks ago in a stupor lol) but I can commiserate.  We've been going through friend/lack of friend drama here off & on this year.

 

It isn't our only issue, but it is there & is significant. We may end up with one kid in public school ASAP & all 4 kids in public school next year. & then we'll have a whole new set of problems.

 

Ugh. Sometimes the only thing I can tell myself is, "people suck".

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DD has some good friends online, too.  There are girls at the barn, but none she socializes with outside of the barn.

 

On weekend nights, she calls herself a loser because she has no friends with whom to go out.  It breaks my heart.  She is lonely.

 

I had nowhere to go most weekend nights as a teen.  I mean where was I going to go?  No money, no transportation, parents who wouldn't bring me anywhere, a few friends, but they were in a similar boat.

 

I bet there are a lot more like her than not like her.  Not that that is any consolation to her now.

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I had nowhere to go most weekend nights as a teen.  I mean where was I going to go?  No money, no transportation, parents who wouldn't bring me anywhere, a few friends, but they were in a similar boat.

 

I bet there are a lot more like her than not like her.  Not that that is any consolation to her now.

 

Thanks Sparkly.  I think the worst part is the story she tells herself, which feeds an already low self esteem.  I just want my girl to be strong.

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The stories they tell themselves are sad, and often frustrating because we as adults know they're inaccurate!  But it hard to convince a preteen/teenager that your perspective is the correct one :)

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Howzit these days, Sadie?  DD11 is doing better.  I think part of it might very well have been S.A.D.

 

Ds is also doing better b/c soccer season is underway. Glad your dd is feeling a bit brighter!

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I have been on both sides of this issue. I homeschooled my 2 oldest all the way through. Both had few friends and now as young adults say they were too lonely and socially awkward because they didn't know all of the obnoxious stuff kids say ( mostly obscene words for anatomy). My next few kids I homeschooled through 8th grade. They went to private school, made a lot of friends, but dealt with a lot of stupid issues like body image, cool clothes, phones, etc. it was a struggle because we couldn't afford a lot of the stuff they wanted. My 5th and 6 th child are going to public high school after being homeschooled and private school. They are experiencing the same thing as my children that went through private high school, but they have lots of friends and are socially happy. My youngest is in 6 th grade, and I am homeschooling her. She is dyslexic and needs to be homeschooled. She tried school this year because she was lonely. It solved that problem, but it was way too hard and stressful academically that she came home after a semester. I can tell she misses her friends, and she has no siblings at home during the day to do anything with. It is a hard balance, and I am not sure if/which one is better.

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Meh I went to ps my whole life, I had no friends and was lonely while in a room full of students. As an adult, I still have no friends and sometimes feel lonely but mostly I just have a low threshold for the work it takes to maintain a friendship. I have too much going on in my life to care.

 

My oldest 2went to ps for K-2 and K-1 respectively. Then homeschooled and this an alternative high school. No matter the education setting dd17 made friends, ds18 did not. He is weird, people notice so no friends and I am sure lonely at times but his education setting had no bearing on that.

 

Youngest 2 ds13 only lasted 6 weeks in ps. No friends before, during or after. He does get lonely. But he acts inappropriately which makes people wary of him. Schooling had no impact on that, it is his adhd. Youngest is in ps this year. She is my social butterfly. I thought she would enjoy it for that reason. Instead she loves the schoolwork and the teachers and merely tolerates the students. She made 2good friends both boys. She is friendly to everyone and welcoming BUT as she tells me everynigjt. She is done with small female humans. She has no interest in the mean girl bs that has already started. She has no intentions to change who she is to fit in some heirarchy in the class. And one of the main ring leaders and her have it out often for that reason. Dd will not cowtow to her and the boys this girl likes prefer to be with my dd (they are in 3rd grade for petesake, it's ridiculous). So dd is asking to return to hsing. She says she will miss playing with these 2 boys everyday but she is tired of being stuck in the same class for ever more with the same kids (it is a small k-12 school, who is in your class now you are with till graduation).

 

All that to say if your child is socially invlined they will makke friends no matter where they school, whether in the neighborhood, at extracurrics or whatever. If they are not, or if they laack the social where-with-all. They woon't, even while in a setting filled with others. So don't use that as your reason or gauge to choose ps over hs.

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[...]

All that to say if your child is socially invlined they will makke friends no matter where they school, whether in the neighborhood, at extracurrics or whatever. If they are not, or if they laack the social where-with-all. They woon't, even while in a setting filled with others. So don't use that as your reason or gauge to choose ps over hs.

 

DD is not particularly outgoing; it takes her a long time of constant contact with the same people to make friends.  B&M school fills this criteria and homeschooling does not.

 

We homeschool for other reasons, but the lack of regular social interaction with same-age peers and thus, for her, the lack of friends, is a serious drawback.

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And now some of my boys' best friends may be moving to Australia! Boohoo. I wish I could send them to you, Sadie. The almost 13 yo is not much on soccer, unfortunately though. Oh, and more importantly, if they move, it's to Adelaide.

 

I have been noticing how our friend group is changing a little. I'm worried that all the "we're in it for the long haul" people will bow out though. We know a bunch of kids starting high school next year though, so I guess that'll be the first test.

 

 

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And now some of my boys' best friends may be moving to Australia! Boohoo. I wish I could send them to you, Sadie. The almost 13 yo is not much on soccer, unfortunately though. Oh, and more importantly, if they move, it's to Adelaide.

 

I have been noticing how our friend group is changing a little. I'm worried that all the "we're in it for the long haul" people will bow out though. We know a bunch of kids starting high school next year though, so I guess that'll be the first test.

 

Aw, sorry to hear that, Farrar. 

 

Yes, Adelaide is a bit far away!

 

Fingers crossed that your group stays cohesive otherwise!

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Aw, sorry to hear that, Farrar. 

 

Yes, Adelaide is a bit far away!

 

Fingers crossed that your group stays cohesive otherwise!

 

And she's definitely moving.  :crying:

 

I guess we have to visit Australia.

 

I turned to the other mom who has also been in this little co-op since the start, when our kids were 5 and was like, what will we do? And she was like, Farrar, even if it's just us, I'm coming to your house on Mondays and we're calling it co-op. Whew.

 

Everyone should have friends this good in homeschooling. It makes me sad that a lot of y'all don't - that they aren't out there for everyone everywhere. :(

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And she's definitely moving. :crying:

 

I guess we have to visit Australia.

 

I turned to the other mom who has also been in this little co-op since the start, when our kids were 5 and was like, what will we do? And she was like, Farrar, even if it's just us, I'm coming to your house on Mondays and we're calling it co-op. Whew.

 

Everyone should have friends this good in homeschooling. It makes me sad that a lot of y'all don't - that they aren't out there for everyone everywhere. :(

I wish I did! There's still time.

 

My ds made a friend this year at his after school program but then the friend got sick of him so we are back at square one. :(

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I just wanted to update this thread, which isn't even my thread but I was reminded of it today, to say that we moved back to the area where DD12's friends were - we're about half an hour away.  It was a sad year and a stressful one, and now she sees them maybe twice a month and it is a zillion percent better.

 

Anyway, hope your boy has found some social outlet and satisfaction, Sadie.  

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Ds isn't really close friends with any hs'ers. I signed him up this year with a hs' group activity with older kids but he asked to stop going. It wasn't a good fit. As it is his friends are from Scouts, it doesn't seem like any of them are terribly close either. I've really not thought that was enough, which is why I signed him up with the hs activity in the first place. He loves Scouts, it meets 1x a week and has monthly camp outs, his only other kid interaction is online playing games, otherwise, we just have family time. I worry that isn't enough but he doesn't ask to do anything else, doesn't complain about a lack of friends, and seems content, so I just hope that I'm not screwing things up.

Similar here. From others, I feel pressure to worry about my kids lack of friends. But they are very content, and never complain, and don’t want to do anything else. At the very least they do the following, and I mean the very least:

 

They have running club twice a week (just adults), but both boys are very popular and know many of the adults, and they talk to them, and a few even specifically seek out Eldest to run with him. Just tonight P. overheard me mention that Eldest might sign up for the marathon group next month. P. Interrupted and asked me to be sure Eldest tells him if he does, since he to would then want to join the marathon group.

 

They have teen group ever other week. Youngest really likes the group. Basically eat stuff and talk and visit, do crafts, ... Eldest says it is okay, and is fine with going since I want him to, and Youngest likes it.

 

They have french tutoring once a week. A daughter of one of the runners plays board games with us in french for 90minutes. She is 3 years older then Eldest.

 

They go indoor rock climbing once a month at a drop in event. They know, by sight some of the people. They enjoy going and Youngest likes talking to whomever is put into his group.

 

Their best friend started highschool last year. Since then he spends lots of time procrastinating homework, (This is in his own words) he can only play on the weekend. He usually comes over ever other weekend for a few hours.

 

Once ever three weeks we go to my parents for the weekend and they spend many hours running around with their 3similiar aged cousins. Everyone really enjoys this.

 

We could do more things, seek out more friends. But neither boy wants to. They are best friends with each other, and think being with their Dad and to a lesser degree Mom is great fun. They both talk about how things are great just the way they are. Or as Eldest puts it at least once a week, “This (referring to various activites) is just to much fun!â€

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Vent away. I struggle with this, too, and I think about it more as our boys (9 & 11) get older. They have few friends (really they just have each other), and that works ok for now. But I know we're on the cusp of interests and needs changing, especially with oldest, and I'm unsure how that will play out. Oh well.

 

I love that your boy wants to hang out with more mature, goal oriented people. That's a good thing! Now where to find them....

 

ETA...just saw this was an old thread. It was obviously relevant to me today, so thanks for bringing it back.

Edited by Homebody2
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It is interesting timing that my quote was brought back up. 

 

This year ds' only hs friends (and they weren't even close) suddenly went back to school. 

 

He still has Scouts but as Sadie mentioned he doesn't hang out with those kids much because they are busy with ps stuff.

 

Ds told me he wants to go to school so he is trying it next year. he is beyond excited and I'm so sad.

 

I even offered to just let him take a few classes but he wants the whole enchilada. 

 

I've planned hs stuff this year but it doesn't help when there are so few older kids and even fewer boys, who seem to have their own thing going on anyway. At home he is the only boy, he hangs out with the girls some but their interests are so different.

 

There aren't a lot of EC options, especially if you don't like sports, we've tried some stuff but he didn't care to continue and none besides Scouts have led to any friends outside the activity.

 

He does online gaming but it isn't enough for him.

 

We are religious but our church doesn't have a youth group, our regular church has literally no other children. 

 

I feel like a failure. Should I have constantly reinforced that PS was not an option and badmouthed it? My pity party attitude thinks it isn't fair that I *want* to school him all the way. I'm not scared to school highschool. I'm not burned out. I've schooled them all from the beginning but yet here we are. This would be much easier if my son was introverted, but he is not. Sigh.

 

I remember being lonely too, in my very small school there were so few choices for friends and activities. I remember feeling trapped with no options and how much it sucked. I just can't force him to stay home b/c that's what I want. I can't let him be miserable and withhold what seems to him a viable option. 

 

So, I'm trying to be happy for him. I'm trying to be hopeful that he enjoys it as much as he hopes and the academics don't suck too much.The teen years are hard for everyone :( I'd always planned for him to do Vo-Tech in a couple of years but he is so damn excited now the prospect of waiting another 2 yrs on top of the 8 months he is already waiting is an eternity.

 

 

 
Edited by soror
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I just wanted to update this thread, which isn't even my thread but I was reminded of it today, to say that we moved back to the area where DD12's friends were - we're about half an hour away.  It was a sad year and a stressful one, and now she sees them maybe twice a month and it is a zillion percent better.

 

Anyway, hope your boy has found some social outlet and satisfaction, Sadie.  

 

Sorry I didn't see this earlier. 

 

Ds went back to drama class, and that's helped some.

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It is interesting timing that my quote was brought back up. 

 

This year ds' only hs friends (and they weren't even close) suddenly went back to school. 

 

He still has Scouts but as Sadie mentioned he doesn't hang out with those kids much because they are busy with ps stuff.

 

Ds told me he wants to go to school so he is trying it next year. he is beyond excited and I'm so sad.

 

I even offered to just let him take a few classes but he wants the whole enchilada. 

 

I've planned hs stuff this year but it doesn't help when there are so few older kids and even fewer boys, who seem to have their own thing going on anyway. At home he is the only boy, he hangs out with the girls some but their interests are so different.

 

There aren't a lot of EC options, especially if you don't like sports, we've tried some stuff but he didn't care to continue and none besides Scouts have led to any friends outside the activity.

 

He does online gaming but it isn't enough for him.

 

We are religious but our church doesn't have a youth group, our regular church has literally no other children. 

 

I feel like a failure. Should I have constantly reinforced that PS was not an option and badmouthed it? My pity party attitude thinks it isn't fair that I *want* to school him all the way. I'm not scared to school highschool. I'm not burned out. I've schooled them all from the beginning but yet here we are. This would be much easier if my son was introverted, but he is not. Sigh.

 

I remember being lonely too, in my very small school there were so few choices for friends and activities. I remember feeling trapped with no options and how much it sucked. I just can't force him to stay home b/c that's what I want. I can't let him be miserable and withhold what seems to him a viable option. 

 

So, I'm trying to be happy for him. I'm trying to be hopeful that he enjoys it as much as he hopes and the academics don't suck too much.The teen years are hard for everyone :( I'd always planned for him to do Vo-Tech in a couple of years but he is so damn excited now the prospect of waiting another 2 yrs on top of the 8 months he is already waiting is an eternity.

 

 

 

I've been thinking of you guys. 

 

The teen years are not my all time favourite years, I'll say that much!

 

I kinda have the opposite problem, in that ds rejects the school option every time I raise it. Maybe we should swap kids :)

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Can I give a little different perspective.  I spend every year in public school and only had a handful of friends at any given time.  I had hobbies, volunteer work and church outside of school that involved adults and kids and that was so much what I preferred.  I wasn't into the normal teen parties and teen activities, it just wasn't my thing.  The few kids that I considered best friends either lived in the neighborhood or else we went to church together.  But I also didn't do everything with them.

 

If your kid is into stand up comedy, find a group in the community that is into and take him there.  Soccer will help.  School won't solve the issues you are dealing with IMO.

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I want to chime in here because we've had friend issues over the course of this year but things seem better now in many ways.

 

DS12 still doesn't have a lot of friends, but I think he's busier than before and that makes him happy. He is volunteering at church (interestingly, they asked my husband to volunteer with set-up, and then hubby sent the email to DS12 and so he's working with a bunch of men) and I think he's happy to be useful. He's doing an online AOPS class and feels very successful. His piano teacher is thrilled with his progress. He's been working hard on math fair. He still doesn't have a close friend his age, but all the other pieces of his life are working quite well and I think that just makes him happier. Also, little brother is in school, removing a lot of the daily noise that was driving him nuts. Also, he's taken up running and runs 2x week with DH and 1x week or so with a younger friend and that friend's dad.

 

So, I think what I'm saying is that even though the friend part of the puzzle isn't perfect, I was blaming his frustration on lack of friends when it was really lack of feeling fulfilled by work he was doing.

 

Emily

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So, in a perhaps a positive turn we had a hs event which had a large number of teens. I was venting to a mom and she was telling me how some of them had been getting together and invited us, there is only one boy but it happens to be a boy he has got along with in the past and knows pretty well. I'm going to cross my fingers this might change things, they meet twice a week. The driving will be a pain since we live out of town but if he goes to school that for sure will be a pain. 

I've been thinking of you guys. 

 

The teen years are not my all time favourite years, I'll say that much!

 

I kinda have the opposite problem, in that ds rejects the school option every time I raise it. Maybe we should swap kids :)

 

Thanks, I appreciate it! I'd love to do foreign exchange!!! If only tickets to Australia weren't so dang expensive :) 

I want to chime in here because we've had friend issues over the course of this year but things seem better now in many ways.

 

DS12 still doesn't have a lot of friends, but I think he's busier than before and that makes him happy. He is volunteering at church (interestingly, they asked my husband to volunteer with set-up, and then hubby sent the email to DS12 and so he's working with a bunch of men) and I think he's happy to be useful. He's doing an online AOPS class and feels very successful. His piano teacher is thrilled with his progress. He's been working hard on math fair. He still doesn't have a close friend his age, but all the other pieces of his life are working quite well and I think that just makes him happier. Also, little brother is in school, removing a lot of the daily noise that was driving him nuts. Also, he's taken up running and runs 2x week with DH and 1x week or so with a younger friend and that friend's dad.

 

So, I think what I'm saying is that even though the friend part of the puzzle isn't perfect, I was blaming his frustration on lack of friends when it was really lack of feeling fulfilled by work he was doing.

 

Emily

I think you are right that part of it is about purpose. It isn't the whole puzzle but part of it.

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