Power to the child – Advice Please.

Dear Clever Friends of the Interwebs,

I need some advice.

On Friday night Daniel screamed and screamed and screamed in his sleep.  He eventually ended up in bed with us.  (which, if you know me, is not a regular occurrence in our house, but that’s a whole other blog post)  He couldn’t tell us what was making him scream and he is not prone to night terrors or even waking up at night.

My immediate thought was that there was something that upset him at school, so we
kept a close eye on him the whole weekend.
We had supper at my folks’ house on Saturday night and my parents suggested that if it is a school thing we would know about it come Sunday night/Monday morning.

Trues Bob.  Last night he was quite clingy and this morning it was an epic battle to get him out of bed.  Not a major drama, but he was just not his happy self to go.

We took turns over the weekend to chat about school and ask who his friends are and
what kind of work they do etc, but as a rule he is already not very good at sharing stories, so we couldn’t get much out of him. He is quite a sensitive soul, a very outgoing and gentle little boy.  Which doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his faults, but in general he is kind and affectionate and will inevitably lean toward being bullied unless we equip him to deal with it now.

I had a conversation with his teacher this morning, but nothing major happened on
Friday that she knows about.

As I left school I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the link between recurring depression in adults and childhood trauma and I realized:
childhood trauma isn’t just all the horrible stuff that can happen to children.  It is the borderline bullies, the random things that happen that can scar a child as much as the big bad stuff.  (which also made me realize that I’m not done dealing with my own shit)

BUT. Life is hard and we cannot protect him against everything, especially as we are facing Grade R next year.

So, here’s what I would like to know:

How do you equip your children to deal with conflict?

How do you teach a child to acknowledge how someone makes them feel AND express those feelings without giving their power away?

What advice could you give me and have you had something similar that you have had to deal with?

2 thoughts on “Power to the child – Advice Please.”

  1. The one thing they taught my daughter at her one school was to apply WITS and cool choices.  WITS basically stands for “Walk away”, “Ignore”, “Tell somebody”, “Stand up for yourself”.  And cool choices could be that if somebody was making you feel hurt you say “NO!” instead of bursting out crying and not standing up for yourself.  So cool choices is to do something on the WITS. 

    Usually when my daughter mentions something that happened I would ask her if she told her teacher.  I try and encourage her to do that because if it can be resolved now it is better than only after a while.  Also if somebody said something that could have been hurtful I will ask the teacher to have a general chat with the whole group to address the situation. 

    1. Thank you, very good ideas.
      They have ‘group time’ at my son’s school too where they discuss issues, I will check that this is being raised.

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