Oh holy crap! This week has brought some very new, and quite daunting, conversations with the eldest mini me (four and three quarters don’t you know!) about politics.
Not of the highly topical, general election. No.. this is WAAAAAAAY more important. This is the M&S of politics. This is playground politics.
Ever since she started reception in September, the same names crop up if ever there’s been an ‘incident’..
“Mildred poked me with a stick”*
“Mabel won’t be my friend”*
“Napoleon keeps kissing me”!!!!*
(*Obviously names have been changed to protect identities 😉 – and to the Napoleons in her year, you’re cute, funny and clearly will have a good future with the girls!)
You know the kind of thing… the complete, terrifying mine field of your precious first born mixing with ‘other children’.
Now, I am not blinkered as far as my little angel is concerned. I know full well she can be nothing short of a bad tempered, irritating, stubborn little mare when the mood takes her. And it’s not inconceivable that she has poked the odd rival with a stick from time to time. With this in mind I have tried SO hard to have balanced conversations with her about what happened, who did what first, whether a teacher was involved in dishing out suitable disciplinary action whilst reminding her that she probably wasn’t blameless and by bedtime tomorrow it would all be forgotten anyway!
This week has been different though. This week she has most definitely led the conversation about how certain children are the naughty ones and aren’t very kind to others – Mildred and Mabel she’s talking about you! Bizarrely it was prompted by her enquiring what ‘evil’ meant when I read Sleeping Beauty to her (for the 3056th time) and we got to the bit about the evil fairy Maleficent.. Following her lead, we had a long chat about which children are nice, kind, considerate and well behaved. It’ll come as no shock to anyone that the kids on that list are the ones I’ve been trying to (subtly) encourage her to play with more.
As she was clearly in the right mood to talk and think about these things I tentatively suggested that maybe she should try and play with the those children more and give the ones (she) described as naughty and unkind a wider berth. She agreed, adding “Because I’m a nice girl Mummy aren’t I? So I should play with people who are nice to me”. (sob!)
To her credit, she’s really been giving it a good go this week. I’ve heard more mentions of the ‘nice’ children and less of the naughty ones. We’ve also talked about who she would like to be friends with and discussed ways that she could try and grow those relationships. I am very proud of her.
But, I can’t lie, I am praying she won’t tell any of the troublesome kids that “Mummy said I can’t play with you”…
You see, I’ve never said that. What I have attempted to do is guide her to make better choices about the children she chooses to mix with. And that, in my opinion, is an important lesson for life. Of course there may be 1001 reasons why the so-called naughty children behave like they do. Maybe personalities have just clashed (goodness knows none of us go through life liking everyone!), maybe they have other things going on that affect their ability to socialise and form relationships. Maybe (in the right frame of mind) mini-me could be a positive influence on them. I’d hazard a guess not one of them is a mini Maleficent in school uniform!
But there are enough people in her year for her to be able to distance herself from people she doesn’t like spending time with and forge strong links with children who make her happy and will build her confidence.
And THAT is what Mummy actually said!