Monday, September 8, 2014

To Turn The Other Cheek

We continue to deal with the issue of the mean girls.  Miss M comes home from school and will tell me about how Anna teases her, or refuses to play with her, or tries to get other girls to be friends with her and not Miss M.  Anna is all of five years old.  And as much as I've wondered what causes such a small child to be so. . .well, mean, I've mostly moved on to trying to teach my child to be resilient.

But how, exactly, does one teach a four year old to rise above it?  How do you explain that some people just have their own stuff going on that has nothing to do with you?  How do you counsel that you must show compassion even in the face of unkindness, because you never really know what is going on with that other person?  To just let it go, and focus your attention elsewhere?

I don't know how to answer her abstract questions about why people in this world can be so unkind.   But, in this age of ISIS and Ukraine and Israel/Palestine, it seems more important than ever that she learn how to live alongside others without hatred, without anger, and without striking back.


Lollipop Goldstein said...

We deal with mean girls a lot. It started in kindergarten. I tell her that she needs to be friendly to everyone, but she doesn't need to be friends. It's so hard to navigate the hurt feelings from growing up.

Jess White said...

We deal with this to, with a cousin no less, which makes it all the more tricky.

It sucks, I just continue to reiterate that she doesn't have to spend time with the "mean girl", but she does need to be polite, and perhaps even inform the other girl that she doesn't like how she's being.

It's hard. I don't get why people have to be mean.

Heather Wilson said...

Poor thing! Phoebe had a friend when she was that age who would always say she was going home if she didn't get her way (she was the neighbor's child). She would eventually make good on that threat and leave and Phoebe would be left crying and I'd have to talk to her about how the girl was not being a good friend. A few years later, I heard the girl and Phoebe talking and the girl saying she was going to leave and Phoebe said "Fine. I don't care." I wanted to stand and cheer. I told her later I was proud of her.