It is every parent’s biggest dream and worst nightmare.
Will she get invited? Will he be left out? What if nobody like my child? What if my child feels rejected?
Gut punch. The actual worst. It really is. Rejection is painful. It cuts deep wounds. That is why we fear it so much. The threat is real.
But…the consequences of not getting out there? Well, nothing. A life of nothingness. So we gotta do it. We gotta get out there. Or find someone who can get out there for us. And its not about just randomly showing up. You know that person that inserts themselves in a social situation without any reason or context for being there? Ya, it is kind of awkward, right?
We have to help our kids show up in a way that makes sense, in a way that helps them fit in, in a way that well…works. It helps to think about it in terms of social roles. So, for example, you can only show up for the team end of season pool party if you are team member. You can only show up in class if you are a student. Social roles are basically the permission slip for all social opportunity.
It isn’t like a math formula, of course. Where you just plug in some data and all of a sudden a person has a full dance card and a social life rivalling the captain of the football team.
It isn’t magic. Cinderella’s fairy godmother isn’t going to wave a wand and create social currency.
This is real life after all.
So it it hard. And sometimes a bit confusing. With lots of twists and turns along the way. Because that is the way of life.
But you can intentionally help someone develop valued social roles. And it does lead to the good things in life. Like invitations to hockey games. Social roles are social gold.
GoodThingsInLife.org will be providing all kinds of information on social roles and accessing the good things in life. If you are interested you can sign up for our mailing list.