Trust Children to Learn
Sitting on a merry-go-round in a neighborhood park your daughter and a friend are talking to each other. A boy comes up. “Get off. I want to ride,” he demands. Your daughter responds, “No. We were here first.” The girls reluctantly get off when the boy, now angry, comes toward them. What do you do?
Nothing unless the conflict escalates. The children had a conflict of needs and they resolved it without anyone getting hurt. Too often parents step in giving their children an unspoken message that they cannot protect themselves and hold their own with peers.
Children Learn from Their Peers
Children learn not to be bossy when they feel disapproval of their bossiness by their friends. They learn to tell the truth because doing so gets back trust. My six year old daughter came home from a birthday party amazed because the birthday girl didn’t take the best chair or the biggest piece of cake. That impressed her so much she began to copy her friend’s generosity.
Reflective Listening Works
I didn’t try to teach her the lesson. I simply reflected the feelings she shared. “”That surprised you.” “You thought she should have the best piece of cake.” “You are noticing how much everyone likes people who are kind to others.” Invest time with your children and they will be more likely to come to you when they have problems. Trust them to learn how to solve them with your help.