Preschool Friend Drama? Here’s How to Deal
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your child hurt. Whether it’s a broken arm, a scraped knee, or bruised feelings, a child’s pain can be seriously tough for a parent to deal with. When a child starts school and starts spending time with other kids, it’s not uncommon for them to come home feeling frustrated or left out at least sometimes. If your child is experiencing the emotional ups and downs that come with preschool friend drama, follow the tips below to help them (and you!) cope!
Recognize what’s normal
While seeing your child being left out or insulted by other kids is heartbreaking this sort of behavior serves a real purpose. As preschoolers, kids are just starting to figure out how to navigate social situations. It’s inevitable then that they don’t always act with the tact or kindness of more mature humans. Do your best to recognize that the other kids in the situation are young and that this sort of behavior is often very age appropriate – chances are your kiddo has been or will be on the other side of it at one point or another.
Ask how your child feels about the situation
Sometimes grown-ups feel much more strongly about a situation than the kids involved do. While we’ve had years to experience the hurt that comes with relationships, kids haven’t. Do your best not to transfer your feelings of hurt or anger to your kid by asking them, in a natural tone, how they feel about the situation rather than reacting with strong emotions from the beginning of the conversation.
When you ask your child what they think they should do, rather than telling them what you think they ought to do, you’re giving them the gift of learning how to problem solve within relationships. If your child struggles to come up with an idea for how to respond to hurtful behavior, you can start by offering a variety of solutions that start with the phrase, “how do you think it would work if …”
Loop in the other adults in your child’s life
Even if you don’t want the other adults to take action, making them aware of the situation can help them be more aware of how they can help if the need arises. Whether it’s letting the other moms on the playdate know that your child is easily frustrated when she feels left out or telling your child’s teacher that your little one has been really wanting to join other kids in play but hasn’t figured out how yet, having the support of adults can be invaluable.
Good luck mama – seeing your kiddo hurt is never easy, but by helping them own the situation you’re helping them develop lifelong problem-solving skills. Way to go!