Calvin Finds his Voice

I was just talking to his teachers the other day about how he has trouble dealing with conflict with other children. When he meets aggressive/ assertive children who insist they are right even when they are wrong, he doesn’t know what to do. Like when one of the boys in school snatches his things or digs in his hole, he remembers to tell them that “I’m here first” or “That is mine”. Inevitably, some of them ignore him and he would be very upset and ends up running off to do something else. So he seemed to be having bad dreams about other children snatching his things and was having some very troubled sleep for a week or two. Then talked to him about how children who do wrong things need to be taught and if they won’t listen to him, he should look for a teacher who can teach them. I didn’t want him to feel like he is tattling on others but I think it is important to know when he should ask for help. He seemed to be more relaxed after that.

Last week, when we had an impromptu playdate at school (I brought lunch after school and he decided to stay so he could play with his best friend instead of going downtown for a picnic),  I heard Calvin tell his friend “Maybe you should play by yourself so you can make a road to rake. Then me and Eleanor can play together on this part”. His friend thought for a while and decided to be constructive in his contribution to the play instead – he decided to pave the road instead of rake it away. I praised Calvin for speaking up and pointed out how it helped direct his friend’s play. Hopefully that will give him confidence to voice his displeasure.

In fact at home, he has become a little champion for breaking our conflict. Yesterday, Calvin pushed a bag of orange off the chair while playing and I got upset with him and started to tell him off. He was probably feeling upset as well but he managed to tell me “I think we both need a break.”. That reminded me to watch my tone and we started over again. I asked him what happened and let him explain that he accidentally pushed it off and we resolved that in a friendly way. I am proud of how he’s learning to deal with it rather calmly. It certainly helped me to cool down and we were both happy after that.

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