In a few short months, my daughter will be starting kindergarten.
I don’t know if I’m ready for this. Aside from the fact that she will be coming home with disgusting kid-germs every day and will most likely be sick ALL THE TIME, I’m just a tad worried about the social aspect.
I know she basically has the rest of her life to figure out the social game…I mean, that’s what I told myself when I didn’t send her to preschool. But when I see her at the park and some little girl is being a brat to her, it kind of breaks my heart.
So, this little girl was really shy. She was at the park with her mother, who was trying to get her to talk to my daughter since they appeared to be the same age, but this little girl just couldn’t muster up the nerve to do it (I’m going to call her “LG” for short). However, it was clear she wanted to play with my girl. So I went over there and tried to get my daughter to play with her, but being an only child and not having too many friends, she tends to want to talk to adults more. But eventually she started playing with LG. They had a really nice time until a friend of LG’s showed up.
LG proceeded to tell my daughter that she didn’t want to play with her anymore because her friend was there. Okay, I get it- LG’s friend showed up and she’d rather play with her. Fine. They’re the same age, too. Fine. But my heart still broke for my daughter. She’s usually the type of girl who, when rejected, just keeps on playing with that kid until the kid FINALLY breaks down and plays with her. My kid is, well…persistent.
This time, however, she just crumbled. She came over to me and said, “LG and I were having so much fun. But then her friend came and she doesn’t want to play with me anymore.”
What I really wanted to do was storm over there and yell at LG, “OH! I SEE. (And yes, “all caps” is necessary here.) WHEN YOU WANTED A FRIEND TO PLAY WITH BECAUSE YOU HAD NO ONE, MY DAUGHTER PLAYED WITH YOU. BUT NOW THAT YOUR DUMB FRIEND IS HERE, MY DAUGHTER’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH?!” And then I would turn to the mom and shriek, “I WENT OUT OF MY WAY TO GET MY DAUGHTER TO PLAY WITH YOURS AND YOU WON’T EVEN ASK YOUR DAUGHTER TO INCLUDE MINE NOW THAT THE SOCIAL SITUATION IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT?! OR AT LEAST TELL HER THAT SHE’S BEING EXTREMELY RUDE?!”
But I didn’t.
Instead, I told my daughter to go back over and simply ask the girls if she could join their game. Apparently, they said no, because she returned with the Saddest Face Ever.
It took a lot of restraint not to lose it, but I was very proud of myself. We had a conversation about respecting other people’s decisions, even if the outcome is not something we want to hear, and that when LG did that to her, it made her feel bad, so now she knows how bad it makes people feel to not be included. I used the opportunity to teach her to be cognizant of that and to be sensitive while dealing with others.
I hated having this conversation with her because I really wanted to tell her, “Go over there and tell LG that you don’t want to play with her stupid, ugly face anyway.” I am a very petty adult.
The worst part about this was that I didn’t really succeed in making her feel better at all. I was just talking at her and she was still feeling bad. Of course, within an hour or so, she got over it.
But I did not.
And I know there’s nothing I can do about these things. I can’t always be there and she needs to know how to handle these situations. Unfortunately, I don’t really know what to say or how to make things better. Maybe I can’t make things better for her…but at least I hope I can teach her to be a decent human being, one who is kind to others, considerate and thoughtful.
I just wish there were more moms out there who cared whether their kids were jerks.
Last 5 posts by Grace Bon
- Things They Never Tell You About Your Partner’s Pregnancy - March 15th, 2011
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- The Mommy Trenches: God Smote My Child’s Personality to Punish Me (At Least, I Think So) - March 3rd, 2010
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