Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Entering a new parenting phase

Tonight N asked me to play Polly Pockets with her after I put M to bed (D and G were playing in the sandbox).

Within about 4 seconds of me sitting on the floor, N started talking about how a girl she was in class with last year (and who she just adored and considered her "best friend") is now in a different class and has been playing with another girl instead of N during recess.  And that she feels sad and angry about it.

It was a rare occasion that I didn't know what to say.
But I've never parented a child through elementary school friendship weirdness.
I lived it, to be sure.
So I flubbered along and shared how I had a friend who often left me hanging in order to play with another girl, and how that made me feel sad too.  (Of course I was considerably older than N but the feeling of being abandoned, disliked and like shit are still the same.)

And so I'm out of my element here.
I know what to do with a toddler and a preschooler and a kindergartener.
But I'm a little dumbstruck by a 1st grader who opens up about feeling sad and angry with a friend.
And I want to fix it, but there is only so much a mama can do.
So I'll just listen and hug and hope.


Keri said...

It is hard, isn't it, not knowing how to fix a hurt like that? And just to think...the social problems will likely become even more hurtful and complex as time goes on.

My consolation is that when I had my first newborn, I didn't know how to parent it either, but I figured it out (with mistakes). And when that newborn became a toddler, I eventually figured that out too (with mistakes). Add more kids into the mix - I didn't have a clue how to parent more than one child at a time- I'm STILL figuring that one out (with many, MANY mistakes). I guess if I could figure out the other stages, I (and you) will figure out the ones in the future, too (with innumerable mistakes).

Anonymous said...

A difficult and heart-wrenching thing for sure. It is hard to watch your babies go through the 'ugly' part of learning to figure out friendships. Continuing to encourage her to seek out other friends(changing focus) and looking for someone who looks like they can use a good friend (allowing her to be a friend to someone who might need a friend, too) may shift the dynamics of the hurt feelings she may be experiencing.
You are right. As a mom, all you want to do is hug, hold, and reassure, them it's going to work out.
My hat's off to you and the countless other awesome mothers of young children. Not an easy job at all but certainly worth every minute-good and not so good.
Carrie-you are one of the best mother's I've ever met! Keep on doing what you're doing !

Kelsey said...

Ugh Carrie! I'm about a month behind on my blog reading, obvs, but yikes. I'm not really ready for that kind of stuff either and I think schools generally do a terrible job of teaching kids how to respect each other (it's not on the test!).

I think if generally just listen and talk it out - that's probably the best anyone can do. Sometimes I think we make mistakes when we try to have all the answers... kids see right through our BS.