The playground can be a harsh place can’t it? I still remember feeling really miserable a handful of times when I was at primary school and that was a loooong time ago.
This week, Louis, AKA son no.1 has been struggling to understand why one of his friends is behaving in a less than friendly manner and I have struggled to find the right words to comfort him whilst also explaining that this one boy in particular probably isn’t a real friend worth worrying about. Louis so desperately wants to be part of this boy’s group but we’re now at two play date request rejections and one outright friend request denial and it’s really starting to upset him.
I asked one of my school mum friends what she would do - she has three children, one older, one the same age and one not yet at school, and she used to be a teaching assistant so she knows a thing or two about playground politics and she thinks it’s all about the power game. One child wanting to have and retain power over another. Withholding the precious goal of ‘being your friend’ whilst being perfectly happy to play together when it suits.
The thing is, these sort of things tear me up. I’m not the most confident of people. My husband practically had to force me to go on the radio the other day (oh how I laughed as he cajoled from his position as a veteran broadcaster - he was on another BBC show two days prior to me and suddenly HE’S the expert!).
But anyway, I’m full of self-doubt at the best of times so it is awful to think this other boy’s throwaway comments in the playground are leading Louis to think he’s no good at making friends and that nobody likes him.
Oh what to do? I heard Xavi saying to Louis that he will play with him at lunchtime but when you’re 7, it’s all about the bigger boys isn’t it? The self-appointed top kids in the class. It’s getting hurtful to my little boy and I wish it wasn’t so.
Sometimes you just want to wrap them in cotton wool and keep them oh so close beside you don’t you?