For the past few months Olivia has been coming home from school saying that her friends don’t want to play with her. Others are being told not to play with her too and it’s really upsetting her. I really don’t know what to do these children are 7/8 years of age.
She is a sensitive yet confident girl but being told she can’t play with girls she has played with since she was 4 is so hard for her. They even went as far to tell Olivia that they couldn’t come to her birthday party, even though they didn’t know the date, as they were busy!
It’s so sad that girls are like this anyway but at such a young age is heartbreaking.
I myself as a teenager experienced bullying. I remember being pushed off a bus by a girl 5 years older than me, I still have a bald spot where girls ripped a chunk out of my hair and for years I suffered debilitating panic attacks which carried on till I left school at 16. Going straight into work was the best thing for me. It helped me build up my confidence and I could leave all that behind.
I have also revelled in these same girls coming up to me in nightclub toilets saying “Hi you remember me from school? I’d tell them yes I remember you made my life hell” then walk away.
The thing was I was much older I don’t remember having these issues at such a young age.
It has been giving me so many sleepless night thinking how can I help her? Why should a 7 year old have to experience this?
I ended up telling her that if these girls were being mean to just stay away. If they came to her wanting to play and were being nice then by all means play with them. You can’t stop a young child getting upset by the situation but you can give them the skills and courage to deal with it. So for the past few weeks Olivia has unfortunately forgone playing with her best friend to play with others in her class.
For peace of mind I also informed the teacher so she was aware but I didn’t take this lightly. If you aren’t there you don’t know for sure what exactly is going on as some children do have a flair for the dramatic and mine is no different.
So how do you help your young child deal with adult problems?
Listen to them.
Talk to them.
Discuss how they feel about the problem.
Choose your words carefully.
Guide them, explain the right things to say, the right way to behave.
Care, make them feel like there is nothing more important than what is happening to them right now as nothing helps a child more than feeling happy loved and secure at home.
Teach them the best way to play with their friends, I know Olivia can sometimes have a strong case of only child syndrome.
If all else fails speak directly to the school or the parents try to resolve any issues amicably as your child still has to go to school everyday.
I have had a lot of support from one of Olivia’s friends mums and I’m hoping that this term is better than the last.
Have you experienced anything similar? I would love to hear how you dealt with any issues.