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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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Follow Me?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:53 PM

(my son, the ham)

My son, in all his three-year-old glory, loves to be around other kids. He loves running, jumping, kicking balls--the usual--and gets so giddy when he sees other little people around. Although, he used to be THAT kid (borderline playground terror), he's turned out to be quite a nice little boy. But as he gets ready to enter preschool, I'm starting to get a little nervous about the habits he'll pick up from other kids.

One thing I've noticed is that my son is usually so eager to play with other kids, that he can be a little too over the top. Often times he follows other kids around the playground, gets really close to them (in a nice way), and can't seem to get the hint when they don't want to play with him. When we're on the playground, I often have to call to him and tell him that so-and-so doesn't want to be followed around. When kids shun his friendliness, his feelings are completely hurt, and he comes to me crushed and on the verge of tears. My heart can't help but ache a bit, and I'm quick to give him some mommy love.

As I hold my son and try to assure him that someone else will want to play, I sometimes wonder how I'll teach him to be a confident, respectful kid who won't be a follower and will not be devastated when kids are mean.

I posted my question on twitter, and got some sound advice from another mother:

Although I'm starting to have more and more conversations with my son (and I feel like he actually UNDERSTANDS what I'm telling him), it never occurred to me to have him address not only me, the adult, but the offending child as well. It's so simple right? But gearing up for preschool I was so worried about him being mistreated and allowing it to go on, or worse, reacting to it and then being blamed, that my first bit of advice to him was, "tell your teacher if someone's being mean, ok?" He usually nods his head and then runs off a whole list of people he'll tell (mommy, daddy, abuela, pawpaw), as if we'll all swoop down to his defense. While I'm happy he knows he can count on us, I'm more interested in teaching him how to deal with these sorts of situations on his own.

So how do you teach your kids to stick up for themselves respectfully? How can I prepare my munchkin for the newness of preschool, and protect him from picking up new bad habits?

I'd love to hear from the mamas (and the papas) on raising confident, respectful kids. Comment!

4 Response to 'Follow Me?'

  1. Anonymous Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/07/follow-me.html?showComment=1249055280273#c5232800456630098388'> Friday, July 31, 2009 8:48:00 AM

    We have an only child and we first treat him respectfully and give him opportunities to build his confidence. He, too, is very friendly and I would see him be shunned by other children. One thing I taught him is not to love what can't love you back. In practice, this looks like him playing with kids who WANT to play with him. I always encourage him to be sociable and make new friends but I also teach him to pay attention to the kids who want to be friends with him; don't be a shunner


  2. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/07/follow-me.html?showComment=1249072639273#c6372351054233502484'> Friday, July 31, 2009 1:37:00 PM

    So how do you teach your kids to stick up for themselves respectfully?

    As a Preschool teacher - I understand where you are coming from. Sounds like you have the right stuff going on in your head and heart! I usually tell students to look their friend in the face and tell them "I don't want you to treat me like that" I encourage them, offenders and defenders both, to use their words and tell an adult if that doesn't work. in my class room we talk about the Golden Rule - I ask offenders if that is how they would like their friend to treat them? (using specifics) I usually make the kids apologize and some I have ask their friend to forgive them. Repeat offenders , GRIN.

    How can I prepare my munchkin for the newness of preschool, make it very clear about your separation and the amount of time you will be gone from your child. CONSTANTLY reinforce that you are coming back at a certain time show them on the clock, draw a picture if necessary, and don't be late! Introduce some of the materials he may use at school if you haven't already. Scissors glue , etc. Explain that you trust the teacher to take good care of him and if you have issues with a child/parent/teacher try your best to keep the peace while little eyes are looking, little ones cannot process adult behaviors. It truly is, monkey see, monkey do with this age!

    and protect him from picking up new bad habits? Picking up bad habits are often transient. Ignore obvious new behaviors the first couple of times and they may well forget them. If a child gets a dramatic reply, they were victorious in getting attention from Mommy! Giving negative (screaming, objecting dramatically, etc) attention can help develop a propensity for collecting bad habits.

    All of this is said with an understanding that we all do things a little differently, these are offered as general guidelines. Best of luck - I think he'll be fine you care enough to be asking! Oh one more thing - DON"T FORGET THE HUGS!


  3. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/07/follow-me.html?showComment=1249161404743#c2958299284151532132'> Saturday, August 01, 2009 2:16:00 PM

    So glad that I found your blog today. I've been searching for some blogs that are written from the child's perspective since I grew up as the daughter of a felon, but so far no luck. There are many things in your posts that I can connect with though, and I really appreciate your honesty!


  4. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/07/follow-me.html?showComment=1249260231261#c6498503622521075931'> Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:43:00 PM

    Anon: thanks you for sharing your comments. i think what you're teaching your son is key, play w/ those kids who wanna play with you. i will try to keep stressing this.

    IntheNameofLove: thanks for your advice! i really appreciate you taking the time to share what preschool teachers stress to the kids. i will try not to be so worried about his new adventure. he'll be in school for a week before i have to go back to work, so it'll be ok (i hope lol).

    ParentalIncarceration: thanks for stopping by. i'm glad you can relate to some of what i talk about. sounds like you could have your own blog. i'm sure there are SO many others who can relate to what you've been through.