Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Breaking my heart

I have known for a while that there were some issues between Iris and a couple of other girls at school. The issues are, mainly, that two is great but three is a crowd. From what I gather, Iris is constantly trying to fit in with the other girls and gets very angry when she can't and is pushing/hitting/calling names when things don't go her way and she is feeling excluded.

Last week the teacher mentioned that she would like the three girls and their parents to get together to work out a solution, or hopefully facilitate a conversation that will help the girls work our their own solution. Today when I picked up Iris from school the teacher asked if we could have that meeting on Thursday, so we're looking forward to that.

On the way home from school today Iris talked to me about how said she was that she was being left out, how much it hurt her feelings. I felt my heart breaking in to a bazillion pieces as she spoke. She asked me if that had ever happened to me when I was little and I answered as honestly as I could and said "all of the time, sweetie". For me, the hardest part is knowing full well how painful it is when you're feeling excluded. When other children, whom you adore, look at you and say you can't play, or they don't like you, they don't want to be your friend. It makes you really sad and angry and causes you to respond to them in a way that certainly doesn't foster friendly relations, so the cycle gets even worse. My sweet, beautiful, amazing little four year old girl is having her feelings hurt at school. What can I do? What can I possibly do or say to make her feel better about that? It's hard for her at this age, too, because largely her friends depend on me being friends with the child's parents, and frankly, it's super hard for me to make friends. While all of the other parents are frantically planning play dates with each other, Iris and I head home day after day with nary a play date planned. She would die for a play date, so what's my issue? I'm 31 years old and still don't really know how to make friends, I suppose.

So anyways, I'm looking forward to the meeting later this week. Iris's teacher is amazing and I know we will come away from it having worked things out. Unfortunately for us, this is the last year Iris's feelings will be this closely tended to by her teacher. Iris attends a school with nine total families and eight children in the class on any given day. Her teacher is amazing, saint-worthy, really, but next year, come kindergarten, my poor girl is on her own. She will be excluded on the play ground and an adult won't be there to help her process her hurt feelings. I know this is part of growing up, but holy crap, will someone hold my hand through this please?

2 comments:

  1. Awww, I don't know what to suggest, but (((HUGS))) to you both!

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  2. Hi Sybil, I feel for you and can relate in a way. We are having similar problems with Eric who is very aggressive and becomes more so when people naturally pull away from him. (Though Eric gets MAD, not yet SAD!) Rather than focusing only on what he's doing wrong (i.e. no don't do that!) I'm trying to be more demonstrative about what he should do instead (i.e. don't do that, do THIS.) I even do some play-acting with him. Hopefully the more we 'practice' playing with others the more natural it will become for him, the more others will want to play with him, and it will feed forward from there. Just an idea. Good luck!

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