Monday, 18 November 2013
This little face.
Such her own little person now. With every step, she strives to be more independent. She talks more. Starts conversations with others outside of her family, introducing her sister to anybody who stops to talk to us, "hello, this is baby J."
But, with every big girl step, comes the little girl. The increased emotions and needs. For more cuddles and reassurances. A reminder to us. That no matter how big a girl she seems now, that inside she is still a little girl. That needs the snuggles. All our love. And as much patience as we can muster as she grows and matures into the person that she will become.
For the first time, Miss A has found herself a friend. A self elected "best-friend" (her words). Someone who she talks of often. Wants to visit. Have play dates with. Be liked by. As a parent, it has been an interesting experience to watch. This entry into a social world of girls, that I'm just not familiar with.
There is a two year age gap between Miss A and her best-friend. What would seem like a small age gap, has often felt like such a large age gap on the odd occasions that they have seen one another. That has made me slightly wary and nervous at times. The differences in play, of language, of independence and understanding.
Today, the social differences felt too large a gap. So large, that we left a social catch-up with a group of friends early. What started as two girls playing happily together for over an hour, quickly changed when another girl arrived. Turning in to a situation where Miss A was tossed aside with a "I don't want to play with you anymore, I want to play with my real friend." Followed by a "Is your name ....?", when Miss A tried to follow them. To which she responded, "no, my name is......" The innocence of her response, upset me. It pained me to watch this rather brutal first encounter with a social clique, that she wasn't welcome in. I could see, that she was hurt, but that she couldn't quite understand why. She just wanted to play with them. For her, it was just that simple.
This is the first situation, where we have decided to step in. And pause a friendship. And hopefully attempt to wean Miss A from her, at least for a little while . The positives, while definetly there, seem to be outweighed by the negatives at this stage. My fear, that she will take such rejection personally, be too young to understand such emotions and situations, think that this is normal treatment from a friend to be spoken too in such a way, or even, start behaving and treating others like it herself.
To me, it was confirmed when she quietly told me, as I tucked her into bed, that her friend "had upset her today". Hearing this, from my nearly three year old, broke my heart. Too young, too innocent, to be able to understand or deal with such emotions.
I know, that I can't shield her forever, from less than ideal social encounters or friends, that she might meet. And I certainly don't want to be the sort of moddy coddling type Mother, who can't let their children make their own mistakes, friends or choices.
The decision that we've come to as parents. That Miss A isn't ready for this kind of more grown up friendship, and nor are we prepared for it. All children, behave and say the wrong thing at times, we're not denying that. Our girls do too. But I don't think it will hurt, to return to the more innocent play of playgroup, and children her own age for now.
Have you ever felt like you needed to involve yourself in any of your children's friendships?
and put a stop to it in anyway?