Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Amoung the many worries of motherhood...

I've been reading blogs for several years now. I started religiously reading a few that I've kept up with around 2005, I think. At that time, a lot of these women (and a few men) were trying to build their families. In a lot of cases that meant infertility treatments, so for a lot of them, that meant it took awhile.

It's interesting now - all of the ones I've stuck with have had some success in some way or another with building their families (ie. they are all parents now whether they conceived naturally, through ART or adoption) and so have become parenting blogs of some sort or another. I've added several "Mommy Blogs" to what used to be exclusively IF blogs and so primarily, I read blogs about parenting children who, in many cases, are at least a few years older than my own or the same age, etc.

I'm terrified. One woman is writing about the trials and tribulations of her 5-year-old son's friends being mean to him, calling him names, and beginning to withhold their friendship. I think that I had both forgotten and not realized the extent to which even very little children could be cruel and mean and I am nervous for my own children.

Fuss is beautiful and smart and incredibly friendly. So the most obvious issues aren't (thus far) an issue for her, but that often doesn't stop little kids from finding SOMETHING to be mean about. I wasn't unattractive as kid (not the prettiest of little girls, but nothing was obviously wrong with me other than my red hair and freckles, which most kids left alone) and sometimes I was too smart for my own good (I'd often be found quoting the psychological insights my mom would share with me, which were probably better left unsaid to the masses) and I was friendly, but I was bossy, admittedly, and a little selfish, even when compared to other children my age (I'm think specifically of the ages 5-6 here, though don't we all have a little problem with that from time to time when it comes right down to it?) I remember being crushed when people wouldn't want to play with me... and how on earth do you protect your children from that heartbreak without keeping them out of social situations in the first place and thereby stunting their growth and development (and in my social butterfly's case, her joy and fun) in other ways? Ugh. Sometimes I wish I could put her in a bubble. :)

She's not exactly starting Kindergarten next week or anything, but we are talking about a couple of mornings per week at a small daycare nearby just to give her more of an opportunity to socialize when the baby comes. And what on earth am I going to do the first time she comes home in tears because some little person won't be her friend? Offer to beat up a 3 year old? Hardly. But how do you know how to handle that?


  1. I so have the same worries and I post about it too! Sophia has come home upset and she has also been the one to upset other little ones! At this age though, it is pretty easy to talk to them and the teachers do a really good job making sure all the kids play together. Sophias class has a friendship sheet every week where the goal is to get a sticker by everyone's picture indicating you were a good friend to everyone. We get the sheet at the end of the week and I can talk to Sophia about why she did not play with certain people.

    Usually it is Joe and Vincent and she says she thinks it stinks that they only talk about power rangers!

    I think open communication with your child and the teacher are the most imprtant things.

  2. My girls are older, so I'm already starting to have to deal with these issues. What I've figured out is that I can't protect my kids from everything and sometimes letting them learn the (hard) truth about how life really is will help them out in the long run. For example, my middle daughter has the tendency to be a bully and insist that the kids all play by HER rules. When she comes crying because kids won't play with her, I hug her and say I'm sorry, but also I let her know that the reasons the other kids don't want to play with her is because of HER actions (yes, it can be hard admitting that your child is the one to blame!) I believe that by letting the natural consequence occur (the other kids not wanting to play with her) I am helping her grow up to understand that people react to how we are treating them. Conversely, my oldest daughter is very sweet, but often has trouble standing up for herself. She wants everyone to be her friend and to like her. I've had to teach her that it's okay for her to (nicely) tell other kids she doesn't want to play with them because of how they are treating her. I've also had to comfort her and let her know that just because someone doesn't want to be her friend doesn't make her any less smart, special, loved, etc. Friendship is a two way street and you cannot force anyone to be your friend or to like you.

    The fact of the matter is, not all people get along. There are certain personalities that just seem to clash. So although it's hard to watch your child suffer rejection, it's something that just comes with life. Not everyone gets along. Not everyone wants to be your friend. I won't be able to always make sure that kids play nice. I cannot control what others do, only what I do myself, and I feel it's my job to teach my kids the same.

    It's not easy and to be sure it has caused many tears on MY part, but I know that it's just another part of growing up.