I am not your friend anymore!
Well, I am not your friend either!
That was a conversation we heard last night, complete with dirty looks and jutted hips, when we were at friend’s for dinner. These friends have a son in Scorch’s class and a daughter in the Bean’s class, so we see them quite frequently- it’s a huge bonus that we love hanging out with them.
Last night we showed up at their house for dinner- the boys darted off one way and the girls another. In no time at all the boys are play fighting, trying out the latest kung fu moves they picked up from TV. All is well until someone actually gets hurt. Tears flow, apologies are made, warnings are given and the boys are BFFs again. Violent? Maybe. But simple and easy- there are no hard feelings.
But with the girls, it’s not so easy. They play wonderfully together for a good hour until it comes time to share something they both want. The girls don’t physically fight each other- but I worry their words do more damage. Threats of no longer being friends, telling each other they don’t like each other, evil stares from across the rooms as we parents talk to our respective kids. They are 3. It takes a few minutes, but thankfully they are back to being friends again soon.
But that meanness scares me. I realize that at 3, words are the only weapons kids have and I’m thrilled to see my Bean standing up for herself. But, I don’t want her to be a mean kid or to react meanly to those who aren’t nice to her. I don’t want her cutting people down- I want her to use her words to build people up, to talk through issues, to work out a plan to share the coveted toy. I realize that all that isn’t possible for a 3 year old and that those skills will evolve. Until then, it’s the Hubs and my job to guide her not only with our words, but our actions as well. I make sure she and Scorch see us working on and resolving issues with kindness, fairness and empathy- not with harsh words and threats.
She’ll get there, I know she will- I just hope her words, and those of her friends, don’t get much sharper in the meantime.