Dear Vicki: I have a daughter that I adore. Becky is 12 and a sweet, soft-spoken girl who I’m pretty sure is an Earth. She loves to garden and help me in the kitchen, and also volunteers at a small local pet sanctuary with her best friend of five years, Leslie. I’m proud of Becky, but do have one concern. Becky and Leslie seem pretty dependent on each other. They text every morning before school to discuss what they’re wearing, Becky won’t go to a party if Leslie isn’t invited, and they participate in all the same activities at school. Leslie is a wonderful girl, but I’ve hoped that Becky will broaden her scope of friends as she gets older and that doesn’t seem to be happening. Should I tell Becky she can’t see Leslie as much? Signed, Mom for More Friends
Dear Mom for More: You are certainly correct that Becky is an Earth. Leslie probably is, too, if she enjoys everything that Becky enjoys. As you no doubt know, Earths need deep and lasting connections, so the girls are probably fulfilling this need for each other. Having a close and trusted friend makes navigating the potentially rocky waters of high school feel safer, and that probably matters a great deal to both Becky and Leslie.
There are far worse issues that could be facing your 12-year-old daughter than hanging with the same best friend for years. And to tell an Earth that she can’t be with the one person she appears to have bonded deeply with isn’t going to go over well. In fact, it will likely feel cruel to Becky. So instead of risking your relationship with Becky as she enters the teen years by telling her she can’t see Leslie as much, why not help Becky “broaden her scope of friends” and include Leslie in the process? Offer to take Becky, Leslie, and three or four other girls roller-skating, out for lunch, to local gardens, shopping, hiking, or some other activity that Becky would enjoy (I suggest you avoid movies because there’s less socializing during a movie). Then a few weeks later, set up another outing for Becky, Leslie, and some friends. Maybe you could drop them for lunch at a local restaurant and pick them up later.
It isn’t going to happen overnight, but that Earth tendency for deep connections will kick in. As you help the girls expand their social spheres, because they are both Earths, Becky and Leslie will find other young adults that they want to connect with more regularly. Give it time, and it will happen. And then be ready when Becky is on the go more than she used to be.
However, other than her Earth need for lasting connections, there could be another reason Becky has become dependent on Leslie, and that’s the state of her energy. Co-dependency is a sign of too much Earth energy, but you don’t mentioned if Becky displays other signs of excessive Earth energy. Does she worry more than normal for a 12-year-old? Does she apologize often (signs that she might be feeling inappropriately guilty)? Is she obsessive about certain things? Does she have an unhealthy sweet tooth? Does she rush forward to help at all times (perhaps needing to be needed)? If so, there are ways you can help her balance her Earth energy so that these behaviors will move back into a more normal range for an Earth.
One easy way to decrease Earth energy would be to surround Becky with the color green. That’s the color that builds Wood, which is what helps keep Earth in balance (Wood controls Earth). Have Becky wear green clothes, paint a wall in her room green, put more green plants in her room, etc. You can also use peppermint essential oil to balance Earth. Have Becky rub a few drops of the oil on her skin (so the scent is mildly noticeable) when she goes to bed at night. She can also place a few drops of the oil on a tissue and inhale it. A room diffuser is also a great option. Finally, the stones tiger’s eye and citrine also balance Earth energies. Neither are that expensive, so you could buy Becky jewelry from either and ask her to wear it 24/7 for a month or so.
The bottom line is that you are in a perfect position to assist your daughter (and her best friend) create additional friendships that will help them through school and perhaps the rest of their lives. And whatever route you choose to take, please remember that inclusion matters deeply to Earths. To exclude someone, like Leslie, from anything will break Becky’s tender heart. Instead, build Becky’s social connections by including Leslie and you will be much more successful. Good luck!