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As Nest Empties, Womens Friendships Turn Over

Womens eNews - Sat, 9 Jul 2011 02:46 GMT
Author: Womens eNews
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Her son's extracurricular events had also served as her social connecting ground--she loved sitting with other parents to cheer on the band at various contests, football and basketball games and the hometown parades. She assumed that the other parents were as much her friends as they were fans of their own children! But with her tuba-playing son now out of the house, the calls from other band mothers ceased and Nancy realized that she may have been living vicariously through her son. She decided she needed to determine whether the relationships with other mothers were really friendships or acquaintanceships. Nancy proactively and assertively contacted the women and suggested getting together for socializing beyond what they'd experienced when socializing was organized around their kids' activities. Some women were responsive and eager to build non-child-centered friendships; some others just didn't seem interested or available. Nancy noted that it took her a few months, but that she was able to let go of the hope of seeing friendships develop with some of the women whose company she had enjoyed and to appreciate the women who were as interested in growing a friendship as she was herself. Suzanne Degges-White, PhD, is a counselor and associate professor of counseling and development at Purdue University Calumet. Christine Borzumato-Gainey is a counselor and instructor at Elon University in North Carolina.

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