As my oldest child is starting to navigate friendships and the playground world, I am struggling with ways that I can talk him through these experiences and to give him good skills that he can use. I’ve mentioned it already but he is a sensitive kid and it breaks my heart to see him sad to feel left out or to not have a friend to play with during recess. He is such a good kid, why can’t other kids see this?!
Now he often does play with other kids and has especially one really good friend and also plays with a few other kids fairly regularly. On Friday we were talking at the end of the day before he fell asleep and I asked him how recess was going as I hadn’t asked in several days and it was one of the tough ones.
We talked about it and some things he could do different. He could have played with a group of boys but they were playing tag that was too rough and he didn’t want to do that. Part of our conversation was that it’s ok to spend sometime just passing a recess on his own if he really doesn’t want to do what the other kids are doing but that in order to make friends he needs to find some days that he does play with them, especially on days where the activity is not so rough.
I think part of why this is so much on my mind (and the topic of the last few posts!), is that I see so much of myself in him and know how lonely I felt through my school years that I hope to help him navigate it better. But as I discovered that I sometimes don’t understand other adults, I’m not sure that I understand kids either!
I think my focus will turn to strategies of also noticing the good things and really getting him to see that a day includes both things that may not be great, but that there are moments if we look for them!
When I ask how is day went, he never remembers it which used to really frustrate me. I’ve now started asking him to reconstruct his day with me so he can remember the things that he has experienced. And I have realized that this is also me. I hardly have any memories from my childhood and I easily forget what I’ve done early that day or week. I think it’s because we both have a very internal, cerebral approach where we both have intense inner worlds and aren’t really focused on the outer world.
I also need to spend some time reconstructing and writing things down so that I will remember things afterwards. I know we all forget with time but I really feel out of sight out of mind. Once an experience is gone, it’s almost scary how easily it leaves my memory.
I think I need to research and find ways to be more aware of my days and document more as well so that I can help my son to do those things too.