Do I meddle?

Prior to life in India, Woo was pretty much the top guy in his home based daycare. He was essentially the oldest, he got along really well with the other boy his age, and seemed to be able to “direct” the three younger children when he saw fit. I know that being bossy wasn’t tolerated, but I am sure that he got away with enough of it (as he does at home) that he relied on being able to do and take what he wanted.

One of my worries about school here was how he would fit in. These worries were mostly assuaged when he made fast friends with one little guy in his class. They were excited to see each other each day, had a few playdates, and seemed to get along really well. Their sisters are also friends, which makes it extra nice. While I’d noted them butting heads a few times at play, but they seemed to make peace in time. I figured they would work it out, and they did, until this week.

Woo came home last Friday and reported that his friend was mad, and told him that he didn’t want to be friends any more. I tried to talk to Woo and see what was up, and eventually I got his story, which didn’t seem to warrant the friend’s reaction, and seemed to make Woo look a little too good. He explained that he was putting away all the toys at cleanup time, and that his friend was just playing. He got mad when Woo put his toys away. I let it slide, even though I know that Woo has never willingly put his own toys away, let alone those he wasn’t playing with. They’ll work it out, I thought.

Woo was sick today, and was in the car as I waited for Goose to meet me at the school gate. She was slower than usual, and I had a chance to say hi to Woo’s friend. Not thinking of their falling out, I asked if he missed Woo today. His answer broke my heart a little. “I didn’t notice that Woo was missing, didn’t miss him, and he isn’t my friend anymore, because he takes my toys,” he said. Clearly, there is more to this then what Woo reports.

At home, as he snatched a toy from Goose today, I tried to explain that Goose and other children did not like it when little boys were always taking their toys. He was unconcerned, so I pressed on and let him know (a much softer version) of what his friend said. He didn’t admit to taking things, but did get that sheepish look that means the truth of the story is close to what I said. I didn’t push him, or tell him that he had to “fix” their friendship I asked him to think about whether he still wanted to be friends, and how that might happen.

These two don’t need to be friends, and it is up to them to decide if they want the friendship. A small part of me feels that I have already meddled too much, but I do want Woo to be happy here, and know that he really likes this boy. It’s also really important that he realize that his behavior to others has consequences, and that┬áseeing what he has done and making amends can mend fences. I wonder if it is enough and I should do more to get them to come around to making up.

A very small part of me wonders if I would say or note anything at all if the little boy’s mom was not my friend, the only real friend that I have made here. Does that factor into it? Could it? Should it? Life is a lot easier for us when our lils are friends. We can see each other with the lils, it gives us something to do on the school breaks, and we can rely on each other to help with child minding in a pinch. Yes, all of these can be done if the lils aren’t best buds or even friends, but it is easier if they are. So do I only want them to patch things up because it is easier for me?? I know I don’t, I want my lil boy to be happy, and his friend makes him happy, even if he doesn’t quite have the social skills to show it properly.

So I wait. I’ve planted some seeds, and will watch what happens. He’ll figure it out eventually, right?

Category: India, Lils, Parenting | 1 comment

  • Deb says:

    You are not meddling! You’re doing it right. And he will figure it out eventually – because you are there to guide him.

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