Children need friends, too, and more than just kids they can hang out with, I find it’s really helpful for them to be with children who know what they’re going through. It’s so easy for a child to feel alone or like the only kid that’s going through whatever challenging experience they’re facing.
It may be more difficult for a child to find another child who will understand the manipulation and duplicity of a parent. Not that there aren’t a lot of kids who experience that, but it’s very, very difficult for a child to acknowledge the toxicity of a physically abusive parent, never mind one that engages in verbal and emotional abuse.
It’s natural for children to want to dismiss or internalize their parents faults. It’s a survival mechanism for a kid to repress the bad and frightening aspects of their parents and focus or exaggerate the good qualities.
This is where a friend who simply listens can be invaluable. A child doesn’t have to even understand or comprehend, but to have a friend who can just listen really seems to release pressure for my daughter.
She needs to speak. And someone has to hear. A child needs that validation to stop from feeling like they’re going crazy, just like an adult does.