Saturday, July 14, 2007

"I don't think she'll ask me on another playdate since Mom got in her face"

My daughter Lauren has a classmate I'm not terribly fond of. We, of course, run into her at nearly every borough event. The street fair was no exception.

This interaction, Rachel kept hugging and kissing Lauren. For the first 5 (!) minutes, Lauren had no objection, though she wasn't really reciprocating beyond the first hug hello. This was while we were walking down to an event, so, it was making it hard for Lauren to keep up.

Finally, Rachel had pressed Lauren up against the brick wall of a restaurant, and Lauren was saying, "Please stop hugging me. I don't like it any more." And when that didn't work, "Hey, Rach, cut it out!" Her voice was beginning to rise and I could see from her expression that she was getting really angry.

I got down to Rachel's eye level and said, "Rachel, Lauren asked you to stop. Let go of her right now." I physically separated them as gently as I could. She was right back with her arm around Lauren's neck, "No, Rachel. Stop it RIGHT NOW." I separated them again. "You need to go back to your mom now," I said firmly.

Bathtime is processing time in our house. So, I decided I should broach the topic...

"Rachel's mom asked me if you wanted to have a playdate."

"Yes!" she said excitedly.

"Lauren," I said quietly, "I don't really like that you asked Rachel to stop touching you and she wouldn't listen. You told her 'No' and she wouldn't stop."

Lauren's eyes got wide. "I didn't like that at all. She was hurting me."

"I don't know that Rachel is a very good friend to you if she doesn't listen when you tell her 'No'."

"No. I don't think so, Mom."

"It's pretty important that people listen to you when you say 'Stop'. If you tell someone no and they won't stop, what can you do?"

"I can tell a grown up."

"Yep, that's a good answer. What if there's no grown up?"

"Um. I don't know what to do."

"I think if you've asked someone to stop touching you 2 times and they won't stop that it's time to make them stop by pushing them away."

She looked alarmed. "By pushing them?"

"If you've asked someone to stop touching you and they're hurting you, it is OK to push them away."

"Ok, Mom."


Joy, of course said...

I think your advice on this was spot-on. Especially since you were specific that she should look for other ways to resolve the situation first. You lost a WMPs for this, but good handling of a tough situation.

karen said...

I'm with Joy - you lose WMPs for excellent advice presented in a format Lauren understood. Better luck next time...

thirtysomething said...

bathtime as processing time. I never thought about it like that, but I think it is that way at our house as well. This is the time I talk with my little ones about different things that happened through the day adn they are usually quite chatty and responsive.
Great way to handle the situation. I am new to this bolg, and don't know what WMP's are, could you fill me in?

karen said...

Welcome, thirtysomething!

WMP = Worst Mother Points. Collect them all and you just might win the coveted title: Worst. Mama. Ever.