WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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into question. The easy neighborhood group may give way to more carefully chosen peers who are more like-minded, and what once was a solid group of friends can quickly break up in elementary school and especially on the rocky shoals of middle school. "Another thing that happens is that the way kids spend time together is different when they get older," says Geltman. "There's more hanging out. Kids mature at different rates so some kids are ready for the social scene, other just want to play Legos." A Wellesley mother of an eighth grader can relate. "My son was always 'younger' than his peers," she recounts, "I remember when his friends would be onto Power Rangers, and he would still be playing with Thomas the Tank Engine. It only got worse as time went on." These different developmental stages can mean a mismatch in established friendships as children age. Witnessing the breakup of a friendship or the outright ostracism of your child is one of parenthood's grimmest tests of fortitude. "It's excruciating to see your child suffer, but it's important to separate your child's feelings from your own," says Dr. Kelly Mitchell, a clinical psychologist at The Human Relations Service in Wellesley. Parents go through cycles of pain and anguish on behalf of their children, but experts warn that a parent may be mistakenly projecting their own feelings on a kid who isn't all that heartbroken. "Sometimes parents don't get that their kids have been left behind but not in a bullying way, but in more of a 'moving on' way," says Geltman. "And their child might intuitively understand that." The Wellesley mother of the eighth grader agrees. "It was really painful in the beginning to watch him being left out of his neighborhood gang," she says, "but what was interesting was that he lost his appetite for those kids. He wasn't scratching to get back in; he was okay being out of the group." family matters "cycles of pain and anguish" "It is critical to cultivate a relationship with your adolescent so he or she can feel safe coming to you if they have problems. Ideally the groundwork for that relationship is laid out in early childhood." – D r. B e n H e r z i g 154 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 6 M E D I A B A K E R Y

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