Parenting Dilemmas

There are a lot of kids living in my neighborhood and my daughter being the social entity that she is knows most of them. She adapts quickly to new social situations. Recently she was promoted in English (she has been moved up a grade and into a special class for students who have English as their 2nd language). She loves her new class and is already comfortable with her new classmates, in fact she was the one who ultimately decided to accept the promotion (it was optional). She is always very excited for English, she also really likes swim class, woodworking, and math. She usually can’t wait to go to school but she has had some problems lately. She is friends with a brother and sister. The boy who will call Jacob is also in the 2nd grade. The girl who will call Destiny is a year older. She plays with them both regularly. Jacob is very loud and rowdy. Generally, they get on very well together but the other day during recess he hit her for no apparent reason other than he was having a bad day. According to my daughter he’d been angry all day, not at her, but just generally in a bad mood. She didn’t take it personally and quickly forgave him after he apologized. Despite what happened she still went to school the next day excited about one of her favorite classes. The very next day they were playing together again and he hit her this time giving her a bloody nose and again there didn’t seem to be any particular reason for the outburst. Destiny brought her home and hubbie decided to have a chat with the parents. When relaying the story to his parents Jacob attempted to put the blame on my daughter but Destiny quickly called him on the lie and came to her defense. I am not exactly sure what to do. Destiny has been a good friend and hasn’t done anything wrong so I want the girls to be able to get together but at the moment my daughter doesn’t really want to play with Jacob. I have said Destiny can come over and play without Jacob at our house but I do not know if that will exacerbate the problem since he is likely to feel left out. While I am certain my daughter will forgive him soon, I do not feel good about the whole thing. Hitting is not okay. We talk all the time about what it means to be a good friend. She didn’t hit him back according to the teacher or the girls who were present during the other altercation. She didn’t really respond the first time because he ran away directly after to avoid confrontation with the teacher. The 2nd time she said she didn’t want to hang out anymore because of the hitting. When he came by after the 2nd altercation to apologize she seemed a bit stressed and a bit forced in her friendliness. She left for school this morning again with no complaints though she did express anxiety last night that he might hit her again. I really hope that she has a good day, without any stress. I don’t want to mislead you into thinking my child is a perfect angel (she isn’t, she is very emotional, stubborn, and at times bossy) though in the recent incidents there is no evidence that she has been bullying or harassing him in anyway. She told me that Jacob has a hard time expressing his feelings with words, but that she does not think it is okay for him to take his frustrations out on her. At the moment she seems to be keeping things in perspective but I know she is feeling pretty anxious.

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10 responses

  1. Your daughter shows a lot of emotional maturity for her age. Hopefully this boy won’t hit her again though. I fear there’s only so much of that anxiety that she can take. I can appreciate the precarious position you’ve been put in, Yves.

    • Thank you Tony, I think I talk to her too much about human psychology sometimes. I hope he won’t either, she is strong and resilient but this sort of thing would wear anyone down. Just a few moments ago she came home and I heard she was with Jacob they walk home together along with Destiny, they said goodbye in a friendly manner. She was not crying or upset. She has already left now to go play with Max (another neighborhood boy who is very calm). We decided it would be best to give it a few days with Jacob, and hang out with more positive easy-going kids for a bit. She does have some good friends too.

      • Thank you Tony, hopefully it will work out! Kids have to be taught how to communicate their feelings (adults too haha) but I sometimes think we forget that. I am really working hard to help her with that and the more she is able to talk it out, the less acting out there is. I think they honestly should have communication classes for young kids in school.

      • I agree with that. We never had anything even remotely close to communication classes when I was in school. I wish we had because then I might have been more well-adjusted growing up! 😛

      • I didn’t have such a class until University, it was part of my major. I wasn’t all that excited about it to be honest because it was a business related course but the teacher was amazing and it was one of the most useful classes I ever took. Funny in Nutrition you have to take classes to learn how to talk to doctors so as not to wound their egos. I am not kidding Tony, I am really not. We learned how to fight fairly and how to communicate feelings, give evaluations, stand up for ourselves, and how to make requests stuff like that.

  2. Hitting is definitely not okay. Perhaps she could let this boy know that if he decides to hit her again, then she won’t be able to spend time with him. Otherwise, it sets a precedent.
    Conflict resolution is not easy when you have kids. I have the same problem at times with my son, who is very outspoken.
    But it sounds like you and your daughter are handling the situation well.

    • Well she did let him know the 2nd time. The first time he ran away after and she was a little confused by the whole thing. Yesterday everything was great at school and she went to play with another friend afterwards (who we will call) Max. Max is very calm. I hope today she is also doing well and that there won’t be any more incidents.

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