How to navigate friendships once people start having kids

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SHASTA NELSON

“The friendships that survive and thrive through changes are those that intentionally pay attention to increasing the three things that make up every friendship.” – Shasta Nelson, friendship expert, CEO of women’s friendship site GirlFriendCircles.com and author of “Frientimacy” and “Friendships Don’t Just Happen!

When someone has kids, their life is being reoriented in many ways. You often forget that your friendships will have to catch up too. While you potentially each need some new friends who resonate with your current life stage, your current friends are meaningful investments.

The friendships that survive and thrive through changes are those that intentionally pay attention to increasing the three things that make up every friendship: 1) consistency interaction and time together;  2) positivity good feelings; 3) vulnerability sharing and revealing.

Whether you’re the new parent or the non-parent — think through how you can keep interacting in a way where both you and your friend feel seen.  

Two specific ways:  

Boost their ego

You are most likely to feel forgotten, judged, or left-out when your friendships starts feeling different. The more you can express your gratitude, awe, pride, and love for each other, the better. Be a consciously encouraging friend. Assure your friend who’s having the baby that it makes complete sense that he or she talks about their kid all the time — the same way you would if you were excited about a new romance or job. On the flip side, assure your childless friends that their life still is exciting and interesting to you.

Talk about the change

Tackle it together. Brainstorm together how you can both keep making it work. Ask him or her what they are most scared of? What does he or she most needs from you during this time? How might you two stay connected?  

Snack On This:

Here’s Shasta explaining the recipe for great connections.

 

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