“Just be kind”.
Something we are telling Eden a lot at the moment is to just be kind. She told us the other day that there’s a kid at her childminder who always wants to play Power Rangers with her, and she doesn’t like him so she says “GO AWAY!” I don’t know this kid at all. I’ve heard his name a few times, but this is the first time Eden has ever spoken like this about one of her peers. It’s the first time, really, that she’s expressed dislike towards another child.
I had to think a little on this one, because as much as I believe she doesn’t have to play with everyone who wants to play with her, there’s no excuse for rudeness or for excluding other kids unfairly. I was excluded a lot at school and bullied horrifically, so I know how it feels to be that kid who just wants to join in. Admittedly, we’re talking about three and four year olds here, rather than me as a ten year old, but I think my point stands.
Aiden and I had a chat with Eden. We told her that if everyone is playing and somebody wants to join in, they should be allowed. We talked about how it’s not fair to leave people out and how it might make them sad.
Sometimes I think it’s hard to explain things in a four year old appropriate way, especially without pressing the point a little too hard because of my past experiences with bullies. I’ve always thought about what I would do if Eden was bullied at school and had never actually thought about what I would do if she was the one doing the bullying. Thanks to her love of JoJo Siwa and her associated bow collection, we’ve been able to easily make this relatable to Eden. We’ve cycled back to what JoJo says about being a “Siwanator.”
“If you’re a Siwanator you’re strong, you’re powerful, you stand up to the bullies. If you’re a Siwanator, you’re nice. And the way you can tell if someone is a Siwanator is if they have a JoJo bow in. So if you’re sitting at recess at school and someone is not being nice to you but you see another kid who has a JoJo bow in, you can go hang out with them and they’ll be nice to you because they’re a Siwanator.” – JoJo Siwa
As Eden grows, I want to try to enable her to make the right choices. To be the nice kid, the strong kid and the kid who looks out for her friends. I want her to be the girl who will straighten another’s crown without telling everybody that it’s crooked. But I want her to make those good choices for herself, because it’s the right thing to do. I want her to be secure in herself and know that if somebody is mean to her, that is their problem and not hers. I want her to be able to say “that is not ok.”
I have no doubt that there will be challenges as she grows. I have no doubt that there will be more situations like this, or situations in which she is the one being left out. Especially with starting school in September, I feel like she’s really going to need to find her ground quite quickly. I have no doubt that she will make some not so good choices along the way, because she’s human. None of us are perfect but if nothing else, we can be good to one another.