Prickly Friends! (Another Balcony Girls Lesson)

Prickly friends are like porcupines! Ouch!

My Balcony Girls learned this lesson well yesterday, as we passed a rosebush branch around the circle. Each girl experienced the “prickly feeling” of the thorns! Ouch!

A Prickly Friend can be one of your best friends, but boy can it hurt sometimes, and it can also wear you out!

We also passed a pin cushion around the circle. What the girls didn’t know is that each “pin” was pointed down the right way, but I had stuck a needle’s end straight up in the middle! OUCH again!

The Balcony Girls brainstormed words describing a Miss Porcupine (a prickly friend!) We even role-played as if we were one!

Moody – up/down; hot/cold
Easily ticked off - picky
Rigid - always in control
Manipulative (striving for control)
Makes enemies with her words and moods
Whiner (complainer)
Judgmental of others
Gets mad at you a lot
Argues with you a lot
Wants to drag you into her drama

Is this a healthy friendship? NO!
Another person’s bad mood or outlook shouldn’t mean you have to have the same outlook in order to be their friend!

Most prickly friends are critical and fearful!

Control is an illusion, I told the girls, and often the girl doesn’t have a CLUE that she is being this way! It’s just that she’s learned to handle control in this way! But don’t let her moping bring you down.

What is healthy?
A healthy relationship is one in which your friends respect each other and can be themselves without being criticized or always corrected! A healthy friend BUILDS YOU UP, and does not tear down! (Our Balcony Girls motto! Read more about Balcony Girls on my sidebar!)

A true friend wants the best for you. She wants you to be happy, healthy and fun-loving! Not cynical, critical, and judgmental! So don’t give in to her whining.

Whining and moping are forms of manipulation. They say, “I am not getting what I want here, or I can’t control this situation.” And then that friend spirals (by words or actions) and spins out of control, because they lose their control.

What do you do with a Porcupine friend?
If you are tired of Miss Mopey (the up and down behavior), make some changes that are healthy for you.

1. Realize that your friend’s sole purpose is not to be this way. She probably may not even recognize it in herself!*

2. Speak the truth in love – ask her why she is so moody? Be honest with your friend
Tell her you don’t like the drama and moodiness and if you can, explain how it alienates her!

3. When you see the “moodiness” coming – step away. Give your friend space, and as you do this more and more, you might eventually not hang out with this friend. It doesn’t mean she can’t be your friend, but you have learned the boundaries of what is good for you! (NO MORE DRAMA!)

But Remember!
Prickly people are an opportunity to really use your discernment and observation skills, and to exercise your patience and acceptance. People aren't always the way we want them to be, but we can still work to deal with them positively.

Given the passionate conversation that we had, starting in the kitchen around the apples, crackers and Peanut Butter Fudge snack, and then ending sitting in the living room, the girls totally got into this conversation. I had their undivided attention! They all could relate, in some way or another!

Then the craft began as we created stamped coasters

Using these supplies
3 ¾” x 3 ¾” unglazed tile
Rubber stamps and ink pads
Felt or cork (sticky sided)
Spray fixative/varnish

The cost per tile was 32 cents from Lowes. Each girl made "4" coasters!

We made fun designs

Spraying, drying and putting 4 felt squares on the bottom

All tied up, ready to give away!

I asked the girls to think of grandparents, teachers, music teachers, a neighbor – to keep in mind who they’d want to give this gift to at Christmas!

The night before, my daughter made her favorite snack of Peanut Butter Fudge! (Recipe will be included in a future post.)

Our Balcony Girls time today was another Lesson for Life! And one that even I (a BIG Balcony Girl) needed to be reminded of.

*A note to Moms: If you are like me, I’m sure you’ve realized at times you’ve fallen into the role of being a prickly person. As I explained to the girls that even adults can be this way, it was a check for me. It was also a reminder that it’s the role of parents to evaluate our kids and help them through these stages! When I told the girls this: Realize that your friend’s sole purpose is not to be this way. She probably doesn’t even recognize it in herself, I meant it! I’m sure all of our kids have fallen into the pattern of being a Miss Porcupine in some way, at some time, but it’s our job as the parent to help them get out of that character! Thank God for His grace and help!

(Thank you to my friend Lace, for loaning me the stamps and pads! And to my friend, Christy, for this fun Balcony Girls idea!)

ONE YEAR AGO on Reluctant Entertainer: Spreading Love


ValleyGirl said...

Those are beautiful coasters! They did a great job!! The fudge looks wonderful, too.

I believe it's very hard to realize exactly how prickly we are sometimes. Evaluating ourselves and our kids regularly is a good plan, as is helping them deal with their prickly friends.

Stacey said...

Wow you are teaching your girls some amazing life lessons. Thank you for reminding us! I don't want to be a prickly mom - but some days...:)

Christy said...

Oh my gosh!!! Your coasters look incredible. I love the stamps you chose Sandy!

I so enjoy when you post about the Balcony Girls. What a blessing.

Sandy Toes said...

How funny...I have a post ready to go about making those coasters that I saw from Christy!!! Are they not great..yours look just wonderful!!!

Okay...I have to be honest...you are Martha Stewart...you even make apples and dip look beautiful!
-sandy toes

Britt said...

Will you adopt me....really...please?

My girls are 5 yrs, 2.5 years, & 4 months. I can't wait to do things like this when they get older!!!!

tinkerverve said...

That is so great! I love what you do with your Balcony Girls. Is this your original idea? If so, then you should publish this....sounds like you would already the connections for that. :-) I have nieces that are 4&6 (home-schooled), and when I read these posts, it inspires me to think about a group like this for them, at their level...How wonderful it would be to start with a young group like that and be willing to stick with them for years to come... (it's a thought)

Betsy said...

Really great thoughts here, Sandy! I've asked my bloggy friends to come and read this!

Betts said...

What a helpful and insightful post. My 6 yr old daughter has a prickly friend whom she loves but doesn't know how to deal with. I'm going to read this to her. Hopefully, it will help a little bit.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a valuable lesson to teach the girls. It sounds like the setting was perfect for the lesson to be lasting, too. Thanks for all the good you do and the ideas you sahre.

duchess said...

Thanks for this post.
I was able to sit my almost 8 yr. old drama queen down & go over it with her. I think all little girls (& moms) have a little Miss Porcupine in them sometimes.

Amy said...

Wow, what a great reminder for myself as an adult! I really enjoy reading all the information you post about the Balcony Girls. I have two girls, ages 3&1, and I would definitely love to do something like this for them when they grow a bit older. I've been encouraged lately reading your posts about entertaining with young children. My husband and I tend to want everything perfect and we're learning to sit back and let life happen. Also since happening on your blog some months ago I was inspired to have my table set nicely every night for my family. I always had the table cleared, but rarely had the table set before dinner. I hopped over to Goodwill and bought some nice candle holders and purchased some placemats/table cloths. I now have the table set and candles lit before my husband arrives home from work, and my three year old now has a new task to do in the evenings. So thank you for sharing your ideas! It really pushes me to think outside my comfort zone and take on some new things that end up being a blessing to my family and hopefully someday soon to our friends.

Elizabeth G. said...

A great lesson for any age. I have struggled in my adult life with several "prickly" people. Some such personalities are so toxic that it requires one to step away for good. Most of the time, though, one needs a WHOLE lot of patience.

Wonderful activities!

Elizabeth G. said...

Do you have any ideas for making Thanksgiving a thankful experience for the family/children?


Anonymous said...

woah Sandy, excellent! Love those coasters, too.

deb meyers

Kim @ My Journey said...

What a neat group. Love your analogies to the girls.... something we can all learn from. And, the snacks look SO yummy!!!

mikki roo said...

Thanks for the thoughts! And I'm so gonna go make those coasters for Christmas gifts - how genius!!

Lucy said...

Wonderful life lessons, a great crafting fun...and a great MOM!! You're rocking Sandy!!

Lucy said...

Wonderful life lessons, a great crafting fun...and a great MOM!! You're rocking Sandy!!

Org Junkie said...

You outdo yourself each time, my word I am impressed by your creativity. Wonderful!!!

The Pumpkin Pink Cottage said...

those coaster tiles are wonderful I'm so so glad to have stopped by now I know what to make for gifts for the teachers...this is awesome I love your blog...hugs, lisa

Irritable Mother said...

This sounds great!!!
I remember ONE very good discussion we had in my junior high youth group at church. What a blessing to the Balcony Girls that you are having these conversations all the time.
God bless you as you continue to serve Him and these girls in this way.

Barb said...

Oh, what fun! And ask me if I love that child's nail polish. Why, yes, I do. A fun time with a lesson built in - that's about as sweet as it gets.

Rebekah said...

What a great lesson! I think that what you do with the Balcony Girls is so wonderful.

Smelling Coffee said...

What a fabulous post! My daughter's friends and moms meet together to learn/do things like your Balcony Girls. If you don't mind, I may "borrow" your lesson. Thanks for sharing! :-)

Ms. Tee said...

This is a wonderful post - and like you said, can apply to any age group. What a great reminder. And the coasters are just beautiful! Just in time for Christmas. :)

Nadine said...

What a great reminder for all of us. It's good to learn what a true friend is and how she acts.

I love the coasters. What lovely gift ideas.

jamie said...

Hey! Great coasters! Your blog looks yummy! I wish I enjoyed cooking as much as you do.

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

What a great lesson! I'll be remembering this one for my 2 girls! :)


Jen said...

perfect. you helped me out.

Wendy said...

Great post! My Sweet Girl is right smack in the middle of her teen years and has already encountered friends like this.

Thanks for sharing this. Fun to see you on my blog...

Miss G said...

What a wonderful lesson for them and for us! Thank you! And thanks for remembering the music teachers. :) I am one. Kelly

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Yum Yum Yum on the peanut butter fudge...can't wait to see that recipe. Also, I love that you are teaching the girls about friendships like that and how to behave in a godly way when I'm sure it would be so tempting to be mean. I hope and pray I can teach my daughter the same lesson when she is old enough!

Grace said...

if i didn't adore my own mammy so much, i'd have to say that you're the best mom ever. what great activities!

Nancy said...

Very cool craft. What a great gift! And a great lesson, as always! I could use some of these :)

Sarah Herman said...

Hello, I found your site through a friend of a friends blog and it is beautiful. Like you I LOVE to entertain, in fact I love it so much that I went back to culinary school at the age of 32. ( Once my two children were both in school) I Love the planning,executing and the strong friendships that opening your home to others brings. It's amazing how a dinner party can make you feel so much more connected to friends. Thank you for sharing the lost art of entertaining with others.

Jenn said...

I LOVE those coasters. I am totally doing that for Christmas gifts.

Laurie said...

What a great lesson, for your balcony girls and for us as well. Thank you! And the coasters... great idea!

emilymcd said...

My, this was such a neat idea for a party... I love how you mixed relational truths with craft time.

It's really a pleasure to read your blog. Blog on!

see you there! said...

The girls are so fortunate to have your excellent guidance. I like the way you teach lessons without making it seem like a lecture.

Wonderful thoughts that I expect we can all use from time to time.


Pat said...

I came over from Besty's blog as she mentioned this post a few days ago. I really enjoyed reading this very much as it was a wonderful life lesson, plus the craft project will make such a nice gift.

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

You put this "prickly friend" phenomenom into words so perfectly!

Joy said...

Thank you for this post and reminding all of us that sometimes we can all be prickly at times. It is important lesson for us to remember as adults so that we can also help our children.

The coasters are beautiful. After wondering what I was going to have my daughter make for grandparents this year for Christmas my mind is settled on these wonderful coasters.

Seven Danforth's said...

Love this idea....gotta get spplies!

Dee Light said...

I can not tell you how perfect this is for our girlscouts!!!

Great craft idea too.