So this week the recurring theme has been forgiveness. This is a tough lesson for many adults let alone my own son. This week for both of my older kids the trying to teach them to understand that its okay to have a disagreement with a person, work things out or decide to work things out but be cordial and not be friends.
My son who is 6 is having the hardest time which is to be expected. I do not expect him to understand adult like themes and to me forgiveness will come to him as he grows and matures. So the issue is allowing my kids to find out whom feels safe to them. I even teach my kids even those closest to them can give bad vibes, you have the right to retreat. I do not make them give hugs or be around ANYONE who makes them uncomfortable. This means that if you come to my child and my child rejects you for whatever reason, there’s no make them give into your insecurity of showing you love they don’t feel is genuine to give. We stress to kids to be aware but then judge them for feeling ill feelings. My husband and I don’t. We try to help them work through these feelings.
For my daughter she has been going to the same school for years and most of the kids she has known since Kindergarten. At this point she is well aware of certain people’s triggers, how they act, and what they do when the teachers and principals aren’t watching. I am not one of those parents that push my kids into certain friendships. If there are mean girls in her school and she identifies that is who they are, I trust that I have raised her well to this point to know who they are and if she chooses not to embrace them outside of a school setting that is fine. We really can’t push the all the kids are angels routine. I am all for her or my son working it out but its one thing to work it out and it’s another thing to have a blind eye to a problematic child and act as if that child isn’t an issue.
So this week my son has been having an issue with one child in particular. He has tried being nice. He has tried having meetings with the kid etc. However to no avail. This kid is problematic. My advice to my son was be cordial. Work together when you have to in the classroom because in life you can’t always disengage with someone just because you don’t care for them. However at recess is your time to play. You shouldn’t have to spend your time in recess trying to push back negativity from one child. Some days he gets the message other days he doesn’t. The days he doesn’t its a hard conversation to have.
Yes we are all for kids getting along. Yes we are well aware that at this age kids go back and forth and are learning how to socialize. The same rules that apply to me with other adults do NOT work for kids. However let’s also keep it real and stop acting like some of these kids already come in the door with whatever they have at home and spew the most hate, the most vile words on other kids and in the name of letting kids be kids we give these kids many chances in hopes they will fare better. They don’t always fair well. So we can’t just act like it’s not the case. As a parent I would love to tell my kids that the world is awesome all the time and that they won’t have issues with other kids or other people but that is not the case.
My conversation with my son is about helping him weed out those he thinks are bad news for him and show him how to make healthy relationships with those who want the same in return. He needs to be cordial meaning just because there is friction, school work still needs to be done. If his teacher assigns him to the student that he is having issues with then he needs to buckle down and get things done.
Parenting is hard and I am sure there will be someone who disagrees with my conversation but the beautiful thing about parenting is that it is an individual pathway per parent and its a collective pathways for the parents involved. My only hope is that my kids get to the point where they don’t waste energy on those who don’t mean them well. They learn to keep their peace with them and not get entangled with those kids who have ill intentions. That’s my hope for adults too. Stop giving your energy to the bad person in your life regardless of relationship. If it doesn’t serve you, leaves you feeling less about yourself, etc then the point is moot, leave them alone and allow the right folks to come in your life. These are life lessons. They should be taught early. I want my kids to grow into confident human beings that know what they want, who they want, and to go where they are celebrated not where they are tolerated. These lessons aren’t to wait to be learned. These lessons are taught early on.