Do you know the Adele song Turning Tables? I love that song. It speaks to me about some relationships and friendships I have had in my life. But I think for me what makes it sad is that I see it in some relationships my son has encountered this year. I feel bad for him. He has such a big heart and he wants to be friends with every one! This year other children have told him they hate him, they have said they don’t like him, they have told him he is stupid and they have made him feel bad about himself. It breaks my heart that he has faced these things. It all came to a head about a month ago when he started saying some things of a similar nature to other kids in his class. We had a big talk about why he said those things, where he heard them. It was one of the hardest talks I have had to have with him. How do you teach your child to protect their heart when their heart is so large and open? I don’t want him to close himself off. I want him to be the loving funny little boy I know! I love that he lets his little sister tag along when he goes to play with the neighborhood kids. I love that he wants to be friends with everyone. I hope he keeps that heart, but I need to teach him that not everyone is as wonderful as he is or knows how to be kind. Its such a tough thing for young children and I am always surprised at young it starts.
BK has also encountered some of the interpersonal drama of friendship this year. But in her case she seems to take it more in stride. She was adamant about who she would or would not invite to her birthday party from school because of it. The funny thing is a few months later it all worked out and now the girls who she could not stand are some of her best friends. I expected the drama early with her, she is full of drama herself and you expect this kind of interplay between girls. I also think its been a lot more superficial with BK. She has not internalized it the way TD has. It makes me wonder what kind of heart JK has, what kind of friend will she be?
In preschool and in Kindergarten I have found the teachers say things like “everyone is friends with everyone” or “we all have to be nice to one another”. Unfortunately this does not play out on the playground or the school bus where adults are not there to listen to every conversation. I know I can’t shelter my children forever but it is tempting some times.