Friday, February 21, 2014

Playground Politics

My sweet, beautiful, independent little girl. Usually when I blog about her it's somehow related to her strong willed nature. She def is head strong, very independent, wants things her way and when she wants them. She has no problem telling me no and when she wants to play alone she will tell me so. Usually my temper flares when she does not listen and does the same thing repeatedly. Even after being told no.
Lately I've been doing  a lot of reading in hopes of finally finishing the million of parenting books on my nightstand. When reading about strong willed children she fits some of the characteristics of the strong willed child but not all. My small group at church is reading Parenting Isn't for Cowards by James Dobson(a book I am not a fan of) and he talks a lot about strong willed children. Again Gianna doesn't fully fit the mold. I came across one book called Strong Willed or Dreamer by Dana Scott and Dr Braund
According to that book Gianna fits the Dreamer cataegory as opposed to the Strong Willed one. The other day my husband and I took the quiz to try and figure out Gianna's personality. We disagreed when it came to a few things. He felt that Gianna was felt rejected in group settings as opposed to confident, and easily hurt as opposed to oblivious to teasing. At first I disagreed. When it comes to group settings, Gianna is better in smaller groups but I usually see her playing by herself. At dance class she enjoys the other girls but usually ends up dancing in the corner to the beat of her own music. At the park she tries to join in with kids and if they exclude her, she shrugs her shoulder and moves on. I took this as to mean that she feels confident in social settings. That her independent nature helps her when it comes to feeling included or excluded
She proved me wrong the other day though. We went to the park for a Mops playdate. All the woman there were my friends and all the kids there were kids that Gianna had played with multiple times before. On both one on one settings and in a group. A lot of these mom's homeschool so the kids ranged in age from newborn to 7. Now the 5-7 year olds were running around pretending they were Else and Anna from frozen. Gianna was in heaven. She can belt out all the songs to Frozen with the best of them and loves Elsa. I could see her chasing after her "friends" trying to keep up but she just wasn't quite fast enough. In the past if things like this would happen she would move on to something else, appearing un phased. This time however I could see her across the park, struggling to hold back her tears. I just broke. I wanted to run and go over to her but knew that I couldn't. So I waited and watched. Eventually she gave into her tears. She attempted calling out to her friends and running after them again but the girls just kept running on. She stopped, looked for me and burst into tears. I rushed over to her and asked what was wrong. Between sobs she told me she kept calling out to her friends but they kept running away. Hearing your daughter tell you her friends were running away from her was heartbreaking. The child in me can easily remember being bullied and excluded in grade school and the mom in me wanted to make everything better. I think in that moment I fully realized that as a mom I realized that I can't fight every battle for my child, no matter how much I want to. And that as much as I dislike it, Gianna is growing up and situations like these are going to become more and more prevalent as she starts school and hangs out with friends.
The adult in me also realized that it was unfair to expect a group of 5-7 year olds to play with my toddler. To them she is a pest, trying to keep up and bugging them as they were playing. Even though they were my friends kids and have played with Gianna before, they wanted to play with peers of their own age. I got it but that didn't make the situation any easier
I mentioned it to my friend who told her daughter to be nice to Gianna but that was that. Gianna continued to try and keep up, only upsetting herself further. Finally I went to go push her on the swings before packing up to leave.
We left the park to go to target to run some errands. The drive to target is about an hour and Gianna kept telling me how her friends kept running away from her. My heart continued to break. And it broke even more when we walked into the target and Gianna vomited profusely all over herself, me and the cart. Perfect ending to the perfect day
How do you mom's deal with situations like these? I feel like Gianna is to little to understand that although it feels like the kids are excluding her, they aren't. They are just playing with kids their own age. Any tips, advice?


  1. Oh no, my heart is breaking. I am not looking forward to this part of parenting. When my son was a year old (6 months ago) he tried to play with his cousin who was 2, who didn't have interest in playing with him, and it gave me a glimpse in tmthe future and my heart broke then too. :(

  2. oh this is so and and hurtful knowing this that is just the beginning of heartache in our little girls' lives. but that it what we as mommys are here for to help them through it, to listen, to love and to keep them in the game and keeping up to speed with life.