I picked up my boys at daycare yesterday and every day I ask them how was their day. My two year old is just happy to see me. But my five year old is becoming more aware everyday.
We were in the car and my eldest just started talking. “Daddy, one of kids told me I wasn’t their friend anymore.” He sounded somber but not overly upset when he told me this.
Daddy? That’s me. Think fast. How do I respond to this? It dawned on me that social interactions with other kids are beginning to play a more crucial role in my kid’s emotional well being. He’s not in a bubble anymore that everyone is going to be his friend.
The kid that told him that he wasn’t their friend anymore was a kid that he spoke highly of in the past. I figure that’s why he mentioned it.
Not knowing the context of the situation, my response to my son was, “Maybe he was having a bad day. Also, sometimes we say things to each other that we don’t really mean.”
He seemed to be content with my answer. He followed my explanation with, “yeah, and maybe he had a bad dream.” Then he smiled.
A display of empathy.