home meetglynnis books speakingtopics resources contact

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A warm welcome to those of you who are visiting after reading my devotion entitled, "Making the Most of Loneliness." If you're like me, you feel every ounce of your child's pain. Sometimes it's hard for us to help our children because of that.

I can still remember the physical pain of loneliness when I moved 2000 miles away from all my friends and family. I definitely took friendships for granted after living in the same city all my life. I didn't realize how hard it was to find compatible friendships. But I'm a problem solver by nature, so it didn't take long for me to figure out ways to connect with others.

But our children don't often have those skills. And most children are bound up in playground hierarchies that make it even more difficult to navigate friendships. Once children are too old for their moms to set play dates, what are the options for helping?

There are things parents can do. I'm happy to share some of these tips today. If you like my practical approach to helping kids overcome issues, I hope you'll consider getting my book, "When Your Child is Hurting," available through Proverbs 31 Ministries, or on Amazon.

Here are just a few ideas to help your child deal with loneliness and make friends:

1. Pray with, and for, your child for God to bring a friend. This can be a faith-builder when children see God answer their prayers.

2. Work on conversation skills. Discuss the importance of being a good listener, and asking open-ended, follow-up questions. Role play how to ask questions, like:
What did you do this weekend?
What’s your favorite sport to play? Why?
What do you like best about school?
If you could give away $1000, what would you do with it?
If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be and why?

3. Be an inviter. Help your child plan a special event, and then encourage him or her to invite a friend. This can be done very easily and affordably. For instance, you could:
Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
Make a model airplane
Make home-made gift tags from used greeting cards
Play a game of Frisbee golf
Take a hike and have a picnic
Attend a church event

4. Invest in your child's interests. Some of my best friends have developed out of common interests. But finding and developing your child's interests is a learning process. It’s best to ease into new experiences. For example, take classes through your city recreation department before you invest $500 in sports equipment your child might not like in a month. When you do find something your child loves, then invest in that interest. Whether it's scouts, athletics, arts, music or dance, your child will immediately have a connection with other children in her class or team.

5. Introduce your child to Jesus as his best-friend. I wrote this in my devotion, but it bears repeating. Does your child have a Bible she can read? If not, this is a perfect time to buy one. Then your child can read for herself about our God who never leaves us alone, who is always near and who longs to be our friend. Learning to turn to the Bible is difficult times will be a source of life-long comfort.

I pray these ideas have sparked more for you. We can make a difference in our children's lives, and help prepare them for the future. Because there will always be times of loneliness.

In His Love,

Glynnis

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great piece of writing on lonliness, Glynnis. Young or old, we all face it and it can be a time of growing stronger in our walk. Resentment, as I have painfully learned, is a terrible tool of Satan, no matter what it is we are resenting. It leads to nothing positive at all and must be weeded out of our garden of emotions.
Michelle

Christy said...

Thank you for your devotion today. I have been facing the knowledge that in the not so distant future, I too will be leaving the place that I thought was going to be my forever home. I have a 16 year old with learning disabilities and is painfully shy. I'm praying that our time here will continue on till she graduates. I also have a 4 year old that is so outgoing, I'm actually not worried about her. As for myself, 4 years ago I joined a wonderful group of women at my church, we are called Mom2Mom...these women have become more than friends, they are family. I spent many years in a deep depression, not getting out of my jammies for days at a time, not leaving my house. M2M helped me get out of that pit and back into the loving arms of Jesus and fellowship. The thought of leaving this place, these women tears me up. I spent the better part of the first week I found out about our impending move sobbing. I'm so terrified to go back to that old place of nothingness and lonlieness. Thank you for reminding me that while I may be leaving my physicall friends and family, my Best Friend is coming with me...this adds to the many new perspectives that I now have. Thank you again, and may you have a blessed day!

Anonymous said...

Loneliness...is a time that has become a place of reflection and waiting. I am a semianrian wife with a teenage daughter and we moved from a FL to WI. The town we moved from I was born there. We left a huge support system in our lives. As I have coined it "our call from complacency" to follow God's call for my husband. I went through the stages of grief and watched as my daughter did too. She struggled with choosing friends and still does. It has been hard to go through the struggle but even harder to watch my daughter. I have found my comfort in Christ and epecially in the words from Jeremiah 29:11. She has struggled in her faith on this journey and it seems as if she has come full circle and back to Christ as the "faux" friends she had choosen have faded away. Watching is the hardest part. So I pray, listen, walk and wait with her. Together with Christ: even when He is carrying one or both of us we have felt comforted and loved. Our new community has embraced us with Christian love and has given me the strength to help others who have made the same journey. Blessings to all who walk with Christ for they will never be alone. Susan

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Glynnis,

Thank you for the devotion today. I've relocated twice to places where I knew no one. Both times it was incredibly difficult and lonely. But like you, I found intimacy with God during those times that I would not have had otherwise. And like you, I'm learning not to take my friendships for granted.

Blessings,
Sandy

Anonymous said...

thank you for your devotion.
i too was watched my own child suffer lately from being alone. she is 15, very smart, but so shy. we live in the country, so simple things even further ostricize her from her peer group. it is so difficult to see the pain in her eyes when the phone doesn't ring or the invitations don't come. we are a very close family but that still isn't enough at this age. i am so afraid that she is missing out on so much not having a best friend, or really any "girl friends". i continue to pray that God wills send her a friend.
gay lynn

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotional on lonliness! We also just moved last year. Believe it or not to North Carolina from California! It has been hard making new friendships and leaving all our family and friends back home! There have been many days of feeling lonely. Thank you for your words of encouragement, they were what I needed to hear today! I feel your words have confirmed what God was trying to speak to me...that this time of lonliness is a time to grow closer to him and find Him as my best friend! To know that my best friend Jesus is always with me! I will choose to encounter Him on new levels in my lonliness instead of being brought down in despair and sadness. Thank you again for sharing this! God is good!
Miriam

Teresa said...

Thank you also for your devotion on loneliness. I have moved several times in my married life, but the last was the most difficult. I left some amazingly supportive wonderful Christian friends. I have not made any new (close) friends in the four years since we have moved. I have, however, found a wonderful church, but have not made a connection with any women there. I live in a different community from my church , am a SAHM and also a small farmer. I am also older than most women with children my age. I don't feel like I have much in common with those around me. My children were quite young when we moved here so they, for the most part, have been accepted. They are not involved in any activities so I have met no one that way. My 9 year old son has been having some problem with bullying, which breaks my heart. My 6 year old daughter has, unfortunately, learned some not so Christian behaviors that frighten and sadden me. My husband is not part of any church and does not understand or believe it is possible to have a personal relationship with the Lord. I try to not be resentful, and have often wondered if my loneliness was an invitation to become closer to the Lord. I will work harder on developing that relationship that can never be taken from me. Thank you for listening, happy thanksgiving and God bless.

Sharon said...

Thanks for your devotion today. It really struck a chord with me, as we moved to North Carolina from the Phoenix area two years ago (after living there for 20 years). It's been a struggle both with leaving good friends and with the cultural differences between the east and west coasts. To make matters worse, we have moved from a large city to a rural area. Although I love the home God has given us here, it is really hard to connect. After being very involved at church in Arizona, I have not been able to connect here. The people are outwardly very friendly, but don't seem to want any new friends. I miss being able to go to lunch or coffee and visit with a friend. Since you have gone through exactly the same thing, can you tell me how you were able to finally connect? Or is it something that just takes a long time? Maybe you can share just how you were able to get connected. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your honesty and willingness to open up your heart and life to us. It means so much more than I could ever express. God bless you for sharing and ministering. Keep up the great work with Proverbs 31. Happy Thanksgiving!

Melanie said...

Glynnis, you know what i think when i read this blog post and your previous one? I think how God knew what an incredible mother you would be. That in the midst of all your life holds, you make your children such a priority. I am praying for you, and for Catherine. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Anonymous said...

I am experiencing loneliness as well as my 2 small children. We have not moved, but, my husband has moved out over 3 months ago, and it is a struggle for the 3 of us. We live in the town he grew up in and where all of his friends live-but, what you say is so true, I have found myself reaching out to and for God more deeply than I have in a long time. Anyway, thank you for your words of encouragement-it still amazes me that this site seems to speak on what is "my issue" of the day. May God continue to Bless you and yours-I know that you are a blessing to me and mine.

Van said...

Glynnis, we are connected at the heart on this issue. Moving leads to lonliness leads to hard hard times. Yet - had you not moved to Charlotte I would have never experienced the joy of knowing you. Moving is so bitter sweet - I write about it every Monday on my blog because I know how difficult a journey moves are. Thanks for being real and open and vulnerable. That is why I love you so...

Tammy Nischan said...

Thanks for sharing this devo. Even though we haven't moved recently, I have been amazed at the comings and goings of "loneliness" in the lives of my children through the changing of friends at different seasons.

It's never easy to go through these seasons, but you are so right, they are such great opportunities to draw closer to God.

I love you, Glynnis.

tammy