Mom-to-Mom Support/This year all of my daughter’s friends are returning to public school

This year all of my daughter’s friends are returning to public school

Mother comforts daughter who misses her friends


Our middle daughter is in 9th grade. We have been homeschooling since Kindergarten. We belong to a wonderful Catholic co-op and have a great park day. This year all of my daughter’s friends are returning to public school. This is not an option for us nor does my daughter want to go to a public school. She is devastated and heartbroken as we are for her. I am fervently praying to St. Ann to guide us but I’m just not sure what to do to help her. I know how important friendships are for girls at this age. Any advice you can give us would be a blessing. Thank you and God bless.

Dear Mom,

This is indeed a difficult situation. I have been through this as well. My youngest daughter’s very closest homeschool friend returned to public school. These girls shared so much with one another, including their respective faith walks. They received Confirmation in the same class. I was sad for my daughter when her friend returned to public school. My daughter was in the 9th grade as well.

I was concerned that my daughter would want to go to public school too, but she did not. Like your daughter, what she really wanted was her friend to be homeschooling and coming to the co-operative school each Friday. I explained to my daughter that all through life, she would face situations whereby a change in circumstances would alter what was once comfortable or familiar. This is part of our faith journey. I wanted to impress upon my daughter that this first of changes would help her to weather future changes and challenges that would come her way.

Friendships are very important for all young people. Sometimes what is even more compelling to young people is acceptance by their peer group. It is this reason that many young people are easily tempted into behaviors that are harmful. I believe that your daughter shows a great sense of character when she is able to articulate that she is peaceful despite the loss of her friends’ companionship. Think about that for a moment. I am sure you can translate this situation to more adult circumstances. It is vitally important that our young people learn to deal creatively and positively with situations such as this.

Perhaps it is time for your daughter to develop new friendships based on common interests and not just upon homeschooling. Does she play an instrument, or would she like to study dance or ballet? Are there programs at your local library that would be of interest to her? As children mature, it is important to help them work through the riddle of who they are and what they like to do. I have found that as my children have matured they have for the most part gradually distanced themselves from the childhood friendships that they depended upon so greatly during their early years. Their friendships become centered upon common interests like music, athletics, or hobbies. This is not bad and in fact helps our young people understand themselves to a greater degree.

When my older daughters became interested in competitive swimming, they readily developed friendships with their teammates. This interest in swimming led them to summer jobs as lifeguards. This has proven to be a positive change.

Even in our own cooperative school I have seen friendships change. Girls that became interested in “boys” and “makeup,” etc., gradually had very little in common with my daughters, who were more interested in the sport of swimming, etc.

People change, situations change, and change is very much a part of the human condition. This is why it is so comforting to know that Jesus is the same always. Now is the time in our lives (through change) that we must concentrate on the aspect of our life that will never change. Young people have a great deal ahead of them, don’t they? Encouraging them to spend the time of high school discovering who they are and what they feel called to do is so important. Many times this is a solitary journey made easier by the loving and prayerful attention of caring parents who are there to “listen” and be a sounding board for the thoughts that they must deal with. Sometimes our children do not feel the disappointments as deeply as we feel it for them. This is a comfort.

I admire you very much. You are concerned about how this change is affecting your daughter. This is exactly where you need to be. You are willingly there for your daughter and ready to help if necessary. With this loving support, your daughter will find that she grows through challenges and becomes better, not bitter.

Let us offer up prayers today for all those families that must deal with challenges and changes that force them to drastically alter their lifestyles. Let us ask the Lord to surround these families with His embrace as they weather storms of uncertainty. Let us pray that these families will bind their concerns to the Lord’s care and rest in His never changing love for them. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,
Rita Munn

About Rita Munn

Rita Munn is a veteran homeschool mother of ten. For many years she was a popular speaker at Catholic homeschooling conferences. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember, and she loves to use her writing skills to share her homeschooling experience with other parents. Her “family journal” reflections are featured in CHC’s Educating for Eternity e-newsletter.