Sometimes as a parent you need to let your kids work life out for themselves, you can’t always be there to solve all their problems for them, you teach them, you lead by example and then you hope they take what you have given them and face life wisely and kindly.
But there are times when you step in and use life to teach them, and help them to deal with what is going on around them.
When your daughter comes home from school and starts telling you that the new girl in the class, whilst nice, is annoying her and her friends because she “hangs around and won’t go away” and “always wants to play with us” you pause and decide it’s time to get her to have a think.
“New girl” has arrived this term, is from another country, is learning a new language, and is adjusting to a new school.
Me: so, let’s look at this situation differently, what if this was you we were talking about? Let’s just say that Dad got a new job in a different country and we moved there, and suddenly you were in a new school, in a different country, where they speak a language you haven’t fully learned, and where you are totally new and the person coming into a class where everyone knows each other and has been together for a long time? How would you feel?
My daughter: sad, a bit nervous, a bit lonely and worried I will never make any friends in a strange new place…
Me: and if a group of girls who seemed kind and let youplay with them a bit but didn’t fully include you because they were already friends and didn’t want to make space for you to join them?
My daughter: that wouldn’t be very kind?
My daughter: but she doesn’t get our games and the stuff we talk about…
Me: and how will she ever get it if you don’t help and include her?
My daughter: I guess you are right, it can’t be much fun being new and not part of everything.
My daughter: ok, I’ll be nicer and include her, and make sure we are kinder.
Me: how about we invite her over to tea sometime soon too?
My daughter: yes, let’s do that.
Let’s hope this little life lesson has hit where it was supposed to. My daughter is generally a very kind and gentle person, it doesn’t take much to remind her to be compassionate to others but I do remember what the school playground can be like and I was also once the strange girl in a new school, and I remember that feeling well and I hope that my children always treat others like they would want to be treated…