My how times have changed. When I was in second grade, ‘girl drama’ was the least of my concerns. Unfortunately, girl drama has hit my household this year – bad.

Throughout the school year, my 8-year-old second-grader, Brooklyn, has come home asking for friend advice. It’s normally … this person didn’t play with me on recess and it hurt my feelings or I wanted to play with this person and they wouldn’t play with me. What should I do? Those things are easy to handle but lately the ‘drama’ has gotten a little more intense.

The basketball coaches at Brooklyn’s school recently held a basketball clinic on Saturday mornings. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to play, because it’s something she enjoys. After leaving the clinic one morning, she was acting like herself. I, of course, asked her what happened to make her so sad. Tearfully she explained that during one of the drills, she and a friend were talking. The particular friend asked her how much she weighed. At 8, she hasn’t figured out the whole ‘a woman never reveals her weight’ rule and proceeded to tell the little girl how much she weighed. The little girl told my Brooklyn that she was fat. Of course, this hurt Brooklyn’s feelings – No. 1 no one wants to be called names and No. 2 no one wants to be called names, especially by a friend. I think that was Brooklyn’s first true lesson in girl drama.

The more complex girl drama has come as the school year is coming to an end.. Brooklyn has two little friends who are great. They’re the kind of friends parents hope their kids have – kind, loyal, honest. Normally, three isn’t a good number when it comes to girls, but with this group, it’s worked. In comes another girl who wants to join the group but doesn’t really know how to approach them. Instead of asking if she can play with them or join them, she starts bossing them around. It even got to the point where she was threatening to spread rumors about the girls if they didn’t do what she wanted them to do. Seriously, second grade? After several nights of talking the situation over with Brooklyn (and even involving Daddy … he’s a teacher and is used to ‘girl drama’), she decided to stand up for herself. The next day, she went to school and explained to the little girl that she would love to be her friend if the bossing stopped. She explained how it made her feel to be bossed around and threatened with rumors. I was so proud of the way she handled the situation. I don’t think I would’ve handled it that well at all.

So, we’ve gotten through some drama situations this year. Crossing my fingers it’ll be pretty mild as we close this school year out … but then, third grade hits! Aaahhh! What am I going to do when she’s 16? Eight is bad enough!

In all honesty, I was so happy that Brooklyn felt comfortable enough to discuss these issues with me. As a mom, I want my children to know that they can always come to me with their problems and know that I will do what I can to help them.

However, it also saddened me, because a lot of times, Brooklyn would come to me asking advice for her friends. Brooklyn’s friends know that she and I have an open relationship – and they don’t with their parents – so they wanted Brooklyn to get advice from me for them.

My wish is that parents would take some time to sit down with their children and talk to them every night. Go over homework with them. Listen to them read a book. Talk about their day. Help them pick out their clothes for the next day. Whatever it is, make time for your children.

I know I’m not a perfect mommy, but one thing is certain – I love my kids!! I tell them every single day how much I love them and how much they mean to me! God blessed me with four amazing children and I praise Him for that.

- HALEA FRANKLIN