As I wrote in April, I’m currently working on The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship with the amazing illustrator, Erica De Chavez. We’ve been having a blast on this collaboration and that’s always a good sign about the finished product!
Easing into the looong Fourth of July weekend (Why not start celebrating now?) I thought I’d give you another sneak peek at the book, since we’ve been talking about independence and this question from a 5th grader couldn’t be more on topic.
Q: My best friend doesn’t like me doing anything on my own. But when I don’t have time to do what I love, I don’t feel like I’m really me!
A: Best friends do not need to do everything together. You are both allowed to have time away from each other. It’s cool to be able to do things on your own, like read or draw, play sports, ride your bike or just to sit and daydream. Independence is a good thing.
It sounds like your friend really doesn’t understand how important “on my own” time is to you. Maybe she doesn’t understand because it’s not the same with her or maybe you’ve just never talked about it. How about telling her? If, for example, you like to draw, you might say something like this, “Sometimes, I’d rather draw than do anything else. When I’m in one of those ‘I need to draw’ moods, I want you to let me draw without getting upset with me.”
You might also ask her what she likes to do when she’s on her own. This kind of conversation can help the two of you understand each other better and that can help the friendship become stronger.
UPDATE October 3, 2014: The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friendship Without the DRAMA is now available in print and on Kindle (the ebook can be read on any device, your mobile phone, tablet, or computer with the free Kindle reader app). Visit GirlsQandA.com for an excerpt, reviews, and to order your copy.