Schoolyard squabbles are not uncommon and although we hate to see our children come home in tears, victim of a situation that we do not fully understand, we should not worsen the situation. Here are a few tips to help you react, not like an adult, but as a child should.
Understand what is going on
Our children may be amazing and have a bright future; we don’t often see what goes on in school. He tells us what happened to the best of his knowledge with a shaky voice and watery eyes but the details of his story are tainted with the perception of a 5, 8 or 10 years old child.
Don’t forget that last week you were the worst mom in the world and he had not eaten all of the cupcakes. Listen to your child, comfort him but don’t get all worked up about it, it may be less serious than you think and when you will ask about it next week, he may answer “mom, I don’t know what you’re talking about”.
She was my friend
Her best friend, the one you know well, the one you see often and who makes you feel like going to school is a great experience for your daughter will not talk to her anymore. IT’S OVER! She does not want to see her ever again and she already found another best friend to replace your daughter who has lost her bearings.
Obviously, your daughter is having a tough time and it’s normal. For a child, the loss of a friend, even for a few hours, is as hard as learning to cope with heartbreak after a breakup. Ask your child questions and encourage her by mentioning all the other friends that she often sees. Maybe you will see that best friend again, maybe not.
What really matters is that your child finds ways to socialize otherwise. Keep in mind that your child does not react the same way at home and in school. The schoolyard is often a jungle where kids learn to socialize the hard way. The “you’re not my friend anymore” method is only a form of manipulation.
To help her through this difficult period, you can teach her new games that will keep her busy during the 20 horrible minutes during which she will feel very lonely in school. Hopscotch, ball games, jumping rope, and juggling balls will occupy her for a while.
When you invite friends over, watch how they play. Does your child give a lot of orders to his friend or does his friend leads him around by the nose? Does he find it easier to play with certain friends than with others? All your observations will give you something to talk about if something happens.
Sometimes, children squabble over a grey pen, a castle, a better water gun or the most beautiful doll. Refrain from calling them childish and talking about your precious time and take this golden opportunity to teach your child and his friends to resolve their conflicts peacefully and respectfully. This lesson will be useful over and over throughout their lives.
Some parents get carried away and tell their child to respond vehemently to avoid becoming a scapegoat in school. Most of the time, children who will decide to confront others will attract more trouble, either by causing an escalation of violence or by using this method on children who did nothing wrong.
Conversely, if you teach your child to step into the shoes of others and to try to figure out their reasoning and motives, he will eventually surround himself with children who have similar interests and values and find it easier to be understood. Obviously, you must also explain that he should not endure abuse on the grounds that bullies do not have an easy life at home. It is important to choose our friends well.