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2020 Jun

The Power of Friendship

Our friends need us and we need them, so reach out and touch someone today!

One thing this pandemic is teaching us is how important our friends are. Even if we can’t see each other face-to-face, we can talk on the phone, share photos on social media, and feel connected. Just knowing they’re there makes us feel less alone and afraid during these turbulent times.

Our kids feel the same way. They are relying on their friends more than ever for support. As parents we need to recognize our children’s needs for social interaction, too. What can we do to help? Well, when it comes to interacting on social media, our kids probably don’t need assistance from us. In fact, it’s more likely we need their help!

Now that restrictions are loosening, and we can begin to venture out of the house again, give some thought to how you can support your kids’ need to see their friends. Depending on your comfort level, maybe it’s time to let your child invite a friend over to spend the night or arrange a nature outing at a local park.

Thankfully, the beaches are now open—yay! Our beautiful coastlines are the ideal place to let your kids meet up with a few friends to chat, play Frisbee, and share a picnic. These simple interactions are more meaningful than ever now and remind us how important people are in our lives.

You need your friends, too, so if you haven’t ventured out yet—and if you’re feeling well and symptom-free—plan to meet up with your BFF soon for conversation and fellowship. Friends are blessings any time, but now even moreso. We need that human contact as we stumble back toward what may be a new reality going forward.

No one knows what the future will be like, whether schools will welcome students again in the fall or if virtual school will continue. This uncertainty makes us all feel stressed and nervous. That’s why taking the time to share our concerns and worries with friends becomes an important way to cope with all the craziness we’re dealing with.

Other ways to cope? I’m a big fan of creative endeavors. Here’s where we can combine our need for human interaction with our creative nature. Plan an afternoon of crafting or cooking with your family and a few special friends. Make pinwheels or mobiles with shells and driftwood you have lying around the house.

Plan a homemade pizza party and let your child invite a friend over. Make individual-sized crusts and have a variety of toppings available. This way everyone can make his or her own favorite pizza. For dessert? That’s easy. How about DIY ice cream sundaes? Toppings can include sprinkles, gummi bears, chocolate chips, cookie crumbles, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. I know this doesn’t sound like the healthiest dinner in the world, but hey, we all deserve a treat after what we’ve been going through.

The key ingredient is sharing these yummy treats with people that we love—both family and friends. Just remember to social distance and wash your hands!

Thanks for reading and we send you warm, friendly wishes that brighter days are just around the corner!

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and co-publisher of Tidewater Family and Tidewater Women magazines. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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