Dear Heather,

I have a long time friend who has a child that is the same age as one of my children. We often get together and share stories about our kids, talk about their successes and struggles, as parents often do.  Historically, we have had many positive things to share.

Our kids are now high school age, and the tides have shifted some.  My son has wonderful grades, has been growing as a high school athlete and has excelled in the high school setting.  I’m a very proud parent.

My friend’s daughter, however, has struggled.  She isn’t getting the best grades, is uninvolved, just hasn’t taken to high school in the same way as my son.

I struggle with my our conversations lately because of this.  I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I don’t have the same concerns or struggles that she is experiencing.

Can you help?

Proud But Reserved Parent

Dear Parent,

One of the rewards of all the hard work that parenting is, is celebrating those little humans as they grow into the adults we helped shape.  One of the toughest things to watch as a parent, is when our children stumble or fail.

My advice to you is to absolutely celebrate and be proud of your child!  You have worked extremely hard and deserve to feel the emotions that come with success!

On the flip side, you should be mindful of your friend’s struggles and try to be sympathetic of them.  If that means a little less chat about your child and a little more listening ear about your friend’s kiddo, that may be called for at this time.  I suggest trying to bring up some other subjects that don’t have to do with your kids, or try enjoying a hobby together so the focus shifts elsewhere.

Friendship has it’s highs and lows.  If the sharing is respectful, I hope that your friend and you are able to rejoice in your successes and be a helping hand when you struggle.

Good luck!

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