Exorcising demons

Katie just had a meltdown, the likes of which ONLY occur after she parts ways with bff in the afternoon. If you know me at all in real life, you know how much I’ve been worried and stressed about the influence of bff and her family the past three months. Bff is a budding sociopath, I shit you not.

Today was no regular play day, though. I had arranged a first playdate with the family down the street that I knew has a little girl starting kindergarten in the fall with Katie and bff. The mom and her two little girls came down here and before long, Katie asked if they could also play with bff. I said yes, and before long, the usual bullshit started happening: bff excluding Katie, running off with the other kid here to play, and just being the horrible playmate I have only dreamt my child would never come across because I knew too many of them as a kid.

But as I talked to this mom, she confirmed that she, too, had had negative experiences with this family. And that made me feel SO MUCH BETTER knowing that I was not, in fact, crazy.

Then, our new friends went home and, after playing with bff a little while longer, we had to go inside so I could make dinner. And that’s when the usual post-bff freakout began.

But this time, I realized what exactly was going on. And instead of lighting Katie up for being insubordinate and generally obnoxious, instead of explaining this poor behavior away with low blood sugar and general witching hour malaise, I tried to calm her down. I told her I understood why she was upset. And it was okay. Someone had been mean to her and hurt her feelings. She had the right to be upset. And Katie’s hurt came pouring out.

“I don’t ever, ever want to play with her AGAIN!” Katie cried.

This may be a one-day thing. I’ve been working hard with Katie lately, trying to get her to understand that she does not, in any circumstance, EVER have to stick around for someone and people who treat her bad and hurt her feelings. She may be asking to play with bff again tomorrow. She’s already letting bff know when she’s been rude- quite loudly, in fact. But I really feel like we’ve made progress and it will be that much easier for her to walk away the next time bff makes her cry. This does wonder for my heart.

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