your little ones. You want to make sure all is well and happy all of the time. In reality, being happy all the time is not possible. Coping with difficult situations and having normal life struggles can be used as a learning experience for both your children and your family.
For the last three weeks, my youngest has been in Pre-K. This is his first experience away from family and definitely the first experience alone. He has had to deal with stares and comments about his skin his entire life.
The first day I left him at the school was heart wrenching. There were no tears on his part (plenty from mama once I got in the car), but you could tell he was completely out of his comfort zone. Upon picking him up that afternoon, he tells me that the kids stared (of course) and think he is dirty.
What do you tell him? How do you make it better?
I simply asked him why he thinks that they stare and assume he is dirty. He explains that his skin is not the same as mine and it is not normal. If it was like everyone else's', the kids would like him.
He's right... again. My heart is full of sadness for the wisdom of my beloved four- year- old. All I say in reply is... The kids just want to make sure you are okay. AND Give them time. The kids will love you just as much as I do.
Every day for about a week we had a very similar conversation. Every morning he would stand near the door and cover his face with his hands unsure of what to do and who to befriend. Every afternoon he would run to me and tell me how much he missed me and inform me of all the stares and comments he received.
After the first week, things began to change. He would walk to the table and sit down when I dropped him off. He would still run and jump into my arms for mama's reassuring hugs in the afternoon, but he would tell me about a friend he had made.
After only three weeks, my little guy gets high fives and tons of good-byes from his friends each day as we leave. He is always smiling and telling me about how many girl and boy friends he has. He told me he has so many girlfriends cause "he's cute!"
Parenting from the side lines is never easy. I definitely wanted to go into his classroom and set things straight. I wanted to rescue my baby and shelter him from harm. Would that have served a purpose and benefited my son? Sure to some degree.
The problem solving and interpersonal skills gained by me letting Little J take control of the situation and work through the strife far out weigh anything gained from me intervening. I also truly believe that he has made friends on his own merit and shown the teachers and kids in his class just how truly wonderful he can be.