Thursday, May 22, 2008

Our Very Own

Caped Crusader........

Last night at dinner Garrett shared the following. I will try to get his symantics as best as possible.

(unnamed school child) was hurting (good school friend).
(good school friend) was crying.
When someone hurts your friend you make them stop.
I made (unnamed school child) stop.

Mommy & Daddy:
How did you make (unnamed school child) stop?

I can't tell you. That's a secret for (good school/neighborhood friend).

Oh- you can tell us. We're a family and we tell each other secrets. How did you stop (unnamed school child)?

Oh yeah. Mommy and Daddy tell each other everything and we tell Garrett. You can tell us.

At this point Mitch and I were exchanging many looks both realizing that here is a moment to create trust and safety with our little guy. Really want him to feel like he can talk to us even if he thinks he didn't make a good choice. At this point sensing the gravity of establishing with him he can talk to us.

Garrett ponders for a little bit.

Weellllll, I pushed her.

Many more looks between Mitch and I. OK- uncharted territory. What in the world do we do with this.

Oh- Did (unnamed school child) cry?


So she was crying like (good school friend). Hmm - Do you think her feelings were hurt like (good school friend)?


With our silence Garrett moved on about the rest of the day.

Oh my goodness, I promise we are going to follow up with Garrett about pushing vs using our words. I was just cautious of chastising him in that moment when our focus was having him feel safe about sharing his secrets. I'm sure some book or movie will be involved as my dialogue opener BUT

the other take away for us was "When someone hurts our friends, we make them stop."

We were just amazed at how yet again we saw what a big heart our little guy has. He's a pretty special little guy to be thinking about protecting those he loves at 3 1/2 yrs.

And, yes. The fact that he pushed a little girl is not lost on me. I must say it has been suprising how rough a toddler's day can be. They are just so physical right now because they are all still learning how to use their words. And then, when they do it is usually in the form of tattle tellling - a whole other topic.

To illustrate, earlier this week I picked up Garrett and he had a couple of red marks and one "nic" on his face. I asked the teacher what happened, she hadn't noticed. So I asked Garrett. He said "Oh, (school friend) threw a toy at me" as if it was no big deal.

And to be honest, I'm glad he pushed and didn't bite. That is a stage I do not want to revisit. About 6mths-1yr ago it was very common to get notes saying either Garrett bit someone or he was bitten and to see the little marks on him during bath time.


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