My biggest fear is being realized. Or hopefully DH and I will do all we can to prevent this from going on. And I sharing this story not because I am happy on the inside, but to get your advice on how to deal with it. I am actually a little sad and disappointed about this.
Here is what happened. The story was told to me by one of her teachers yesterday when I picked her up from school. O, Bella and this other girl were playing together at the park. Then Rose comes over, and asks if she can play too. (Yes, Rose, her BFF, or her supposed BFF.) O tells her no, she can’t play with them. Then the other two join in and say, no you can’t play with us. Please says Rose. O yells, and says no, you can’t play. The other two follow suit. Then (this is the worst part of the story) O tells Bella, You push Rose. AND Bella DOES! All three of them get in trouble. O sulks the rest of the day at school because, I could only hope, of the guilt for pushing Rose. I make it clear to the teacher that the behavior is unacceptable, and that we are going to have a talk about it at home.
As we leave, I tell her that Mommy is not happy with the behavior. She innocently asks, what behavior. The one at the park where you and the other girls were mean to Rose. She quiets down and starts looking sad (GOOD!) We get to the car, and I tell DH that I have a story to tell him about O, but I will tell him after we get home. She says, Tell him now, Mommy. Are you sure? Yes, she replies. Ok. I tell him the story, and I get to the part where Rose gets pushed, but O jumps in and says, Then Bella pushed Rose! (Little manipulator!) I said, Yes, that’s true. But why did Bella push Rose? Silence… Because you told her. DH is shocked, and says the same thing: That’s not nice! etc. And she bursts in tears. DH and I chat quietly about it and agree that we won’t make her feel better to tell her that it’s ok. We want her to feel bad. She should feel the guilt for doing something like that so she will remember in the future not to do it again.
We get home, she is very dramatic about everything. Something barely touches her, OUCH… my arm hurts! I keep telling her that she’s fine. We tell her that she needs to apologize to Rose for pushing her and not including her in the game tomorrow, or she won’t be able to go with Grandma and Papa to the beach for the weekend. (That might be more punishment for us than her, but we knew she was really excited about it. That would push her to apologize.) Why? She asks. Well, imagine if Bella and Rose were playing and you came over to ask to play, and they said no, then they pushed you. How you would feel? Wouldn’t you be sad? No, she shakes her head. I know that’s not true. You would feel sad. So you need to think about this before you do something. How would you feel if someone did that to you? Then she starts crying. That’s why you need to apologize, and then you will feel better.
She agrees that she will apologize. She keeps saying throughout the night that she is going to apologize. Good, Mommy and Daddy will be really happy for you to apologize and you will feel better. I think we got through to her. After the dust settled she did try to manipulate the events again. She says that Rose was waking them up, and that’s why they didn’t let her play. I stop that right away. You know that’s not true. And even if you were pretend sleeping, you can let Rose join you in playing the game. And you do not push. You did it because you wanted to, and it’s not nice. More tears. I’m going to apologize tomorrow. Ok, make sure you do.
Later in the night, as I kiss her goodnight, she says, I don’t feel good, Mommy. My tummy hurts. I say to her, You are fine, that feeling is called guilt. She starts crying, I DON’T LIKE GUILT! Well, tomorrow when you apologize, you will feel better, and the guilt will go away. Ok, Mommy.
This morning, I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with this. Do I reminder her? But when? I didn’t have to worry too much, because as she was drinking her milk, she says to me, I am going to apologize to Rose today. Good. I’m glad to hear that.
DH takes her to school, and talks to the teacher to ask her to remind O to apologize to Lily. I hope he asked her to apologize for pushing her and for excluding her from the game. Apologize with an explanation, not just apologize. My mom said that O probably asked Bella to push Rose because O got in trouble when O pushed another kid. And she figured if she gets another kid to push, then she won’t get in trouble. Probably, that was what she was thinking.
We learned a few things from this:
- We need to watch her behavior really carefully. She has a really strong personality, but she doesn’t have to be mean.
- Letting the teachers know that we do not agree with this behavior that way they too can watch her and make sure she doesn’t continue to do this.
- She knows how to fib.
- Feeling guilty is good. So she can learn not to do it again. Otherwise, how will you learn that you did something bad?
- DH and I are on the same page with this.
And I hope PRAY that she outgrows this.