Our children face more stress than we could ever imagine.
There seem to be more bullies today, which when my children or I went to elementary school. Oh, I can remember kids that didn’t like other kids. Kids that said unkind things to other kids, but nowadays they seem to have to take just the little bit farther. The old “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me” is just that “old”. The words are harsher and do hurt, the stick and stones become steel rods and rocks.
It is important to listen when children talk
When I listen to my granddaughter talk about what this boy or girl did or said at school I just cringe. I worry about how all of this affects her emotionally. I know my daughter, and her husband do whatever they can to provide her with a safe open environment. And my husband and I often reminded her that she can talk to us if mommy or daddy are not available for whatever reason, and tell us if something is not right at school or when playing with friends or if she even thinks someone is bullying her.At six, she is pretty candid about what goes on. She has no problem telling me things daddy or mommy might have done that contradict what I might have told her. So that is not my main concern. What I do worry about are things that happen that she does not share or talk about because they touch her sole not her conscious mind but her subconscious.
Guiding them through what they perceive to be good and helping them understand the unspoken nuances is critical
I recall the day she called and told me … Grandma, I think I’m popular! I said… oh and what makes you think that? She replied well everyone at school smiles when they see me even the teacher, and they come to talk to me all the time.
Great you might think, what a confident little girl. I agree she is, but there had been other times when something strange has happened, and she didn’t quite know how to handle it.
But I could tell something was stressing her and she didn’t know how to articulate it.
She started by not wanting to go somewhere or talk to someone she had always played with. She never said anything outwardly but just small comments like, I’d rather not go there today, I think maybe their busy so I should stay home, can I just go to my room and play when then come, I’m tired. Turned out the old girl of this friend would say she was the boss because she was older and when her younger brother and my granddaughter did something she considered as bad she would make them pull down their pants, and she would smack them. That was the punishment her parents handed out, and I’m not saying it is right or wrong. It is not the punished used in my granddaughter’s environment, and I don’t’ think that was the issue.
Stress is often not visible, especially in children.
The real issue came from the fact, once we got the facts, was that my granddaughter has been taught that someone older should be listened to because they would know better about handling some situations. It was meant to cover things like “you shouldn’t jump off that you could get hurt” “you are too young to watch this show,” “don’t push, it isn’t nice.”
So, although what the girl did make her uncomfortable, she was not sure it was something she could talk about. Thankfully we prodded enough to get to the bottom of the issue.
Actions like these can be dangerous and children need to know the difference between good intentions and mean spiritedness. Stress in this form can cause more problems when children are unaware of the difference.
That situation made me wonder about the many things like this that could happen and be missed even by very attentive parents.
So not to belabor the point I discovered this book and considering that since her parents read to her every night before bed I thought it could be just the solution to my concern without being obvious or causing her more stress by making it a front of mind issue.
And I thought you might also know someone it could help as well.