Despite the fact that this story is not from yesterday, its mommy-winning aspect is good enough that it's still worth sharing. So here I go.
I get a little worried, probably because I'm a mom, about my kiddo sometimes. When he's not tantruming, he happens to be pretty mild and quiet - so I worry that his shyness is going to work against him and he's going to end up being one of the kids that gets picked on. I was a quiet, passive kid and I turned out ok (right?) but somehow it seems harder to me to be a boy who doesn't stand-up for himself than a girl. So anyway - he came home a couple times from school recently saying he'd been getting picked on and I wasn't sure if it was something to take with a grain of salt (apparently all the kids like to throw sand at each other daily in the sandbox -- just lovely) or start to worry about. I asked the teacher's assistant and she didn't seem to think it was a big deal -- but I'm a mommy and mommies worry.
So I ask around for advice and get some advice that I thought was really good from a friend. I start telling T to use his words if a kid isn't being nice to him. I tell him he can use his "outside" voice to tell the meanie to stop, and if the kid continues to be mean - he has to tell the kid that if the kid keeps up being a meanie, he won't want to be the kid's friend anymore. That seems to be pretty sound advice for a 3-year old traversing the crazy ins-and-outs of post-naptime playground politics right?
Flash forward to the very same week. Maybe 2 days later? Maybe the very next day? I arrive at school to pick T up and get greeted by the TA. They are letting all the parents know that there is basically a new EPIDEMIC on the playground of kids yelling at each other that they don't want to be friends with each other anymore. They don't know how this behavior got started, but they're coaching the parents - telling them to tell their kids not to tell others they don't want to be friends. Oops.
So, what does this momma do? I fess up. I tell them that the "I don't want to be friends with you if you do that" was my very own advice to my child. Apparently, he does stand up for himself since his entire class was spouting my advice to one another within 24 hours. And I might be a bad parent for thinking it -- but I still think it was good advice. I mean, really. What better way to tell a fellow 3-year old you mean business than threatening to not play trucks with them? It actually seems like it has some meaning to a toddler, unlike teaching him to hit back or follow the TA's advice that they tell each other "they needed a break."
Apparently though, I have some teachable moments to learn.