Now that she is coming to the age when socialization is important (plus the fact that it is summer time and the days are hotter so parents go to the playground after they pick up their kids. This is not new-new, but still..) I try much more getting her to meet kids. Almost everyday we are at a playground, usually around three hours [Tuesday is the only day I do not take her, as it is too hot before the nanny comes (and anyway no children at that hour) and I finish working at a time that is kind of late to go..].
Once a week we go to our homeschooling group. Unfortunately for us, most of the other kids meet more during the week (almost everyday there is some kind of meeting, we can only make it to the Thursday one..), so they are much more familiar with each other, know each other, while Butterfly is a bit of an outsider. It probably didn't help that I felt kind of awkward until not so long ago. Not because they are not nice people (they are!), but I'm so not a social person. Then this new woman joined (a really lovely woman), and "suddenly" I felt more connected. And I feel this also on my daughter. And can I say how delighted I was last week when one of the calls mentioned my daughter by name? I think it means something when a child knows that child's name...
But most days we just go to a local playground and whoever is there is there. I do hope slowly as her socialization skills get better that we get to know more deeply a kid or two so she can have a local friend, but right now I just want her to learn how to be around kids. I see how she doesn't know basic games like hide and seek [she was playing with this girl who was a bit older than her. Let's play hide and seek the older girl says, I'll count. She finishes and Butterfly is out in the open. "Okay you count and I hide". No, that didn't work either, lol] or catch etc. I am not too concerned. Just like I don't push her into learning how to swing as I'm sure she will get it when the time is right for her, I am positive she will catch on to these social game when the time is right :-). But I also see how she is slowly learning. And I think, how lucky am I that I can actually see how my kid is becoming a social being, how she learns the social "rules".
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On a similar subject - about hitting back. When Butterfly comes to me telling me that someone has done this or that to her, I tell her to tell them to stop, that she doesn't like it, and if that doesn't help to come to me. I do not tell her to hit back because I think it's wrong. I am trying to be a positive non-violent family so would rather not teach my kid to react violently. And may I say that while she is not always the most gentle person, she is by no means violent! Last week I witnessed two cases (one involving my daughter, and one not) where the mothers told their kids to hit back.
The first case, not involving daughter, was at the playground. There was a girl about 2 yrs and a boy I think maybe 1.5 yrs. I don't know if and how much these kids knew each other, but the mother's were together.. Suddenly the older girl gave, more tried to give, the boy a smack on the head. The boy didn't feel it and it certainly didn't bother him, so I really don't understand his mother who tried to make him hit the girl back - she hit you, you have to hit back. I mean one thing if the girl actually hit him and he was crying etc, but she hardly touched him and he really couldn't care less! It was just sad to see this cute gentle kid who one day will sure have a hitting issue..
The other case.. I was and still am errrr about it. I was with Butterfly at a gymbory and there was just one other kid (okay it was morning..), a 2.5 boy. So the mother and I were talking and I wasn't so much paying attention to the kids, when suddenly the boy hits Butterfly on the head. While B came for a kiss in the head (meaning she most certainly felt it!) the other boy complained to his mother that B hit him. So the mother kept saying how it's okay that he hit her because he was just hitting back. He tried again (and again and again....) to hit her, so she kept saying that it's okay to hit back but that he has already done so... Eventually, when he did hit her again, she hit him back. I am not happy but also not sad. It is not how I want her to learn to interact but he really was violent to her.
But wait, I must go back. It really nagged me that my girl hit him (the incident that caused it all). Where did that come from? To be honest while I did see him hit her, I didn't see what preceded it. I was talking to the mother saying how I can't belive my daughter hit him blah blah. She goes on about how it happens, and then she shows me this mark on his wrist. Quiet a serious mark. Could. not. have. been. my. girl. All she had on her was a dress and knickers, no sandals, no jewelry, no clips for the hair, not even fingernails! And no way could she have left such a mark on his wrist with just her bare hands. And you know, if let's say she did, wouldn't we hear the boy scream!? Because both of us mothers were sitting with the kids playing right by our side. Surly we would have heard something! a scream, a cry, a call to mummy, a call to stop etc.
I was just so annoyed that my daughter was made into a violent person she is not!