What do you mean, nobody will play with you? by:Stacey Honowitz
Well, my daughter really knows how to get to me. Its been very difficult these last few weeks to get her to go to school. She is going through a phase where she just wants to hang out at home, and in her words have a “lazy day”. She of course picked that up from me, as I told last weekend, when it was raining and gross out, ” lets just have a “lazy day’ and hang in”. So now, she would like everyday to be a “lazy day”. The craziness takes place right when I go to wake her up, and continues through the morning as she is telling me “I’m not wearing that for school”. She loves to stay up late at night and fart around. When I get home from the office its a free for all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am ready and raring to go, but I think she loves to extend her bed time, just so she can tell me in the morning ” mom, I’m so tired, I really didn’t sleep alot last night.” “No kidding” I respond, you had five fashion shows, twelve fake ballet recitals, you “needed” to antagonize the dog, and then you had to have a snack. When you add it all up, we are talking 10 o’clock at night before she decides to ‘turn in”. Don’t think there isnt 4 million. “get in bed or else” lines. That’s about as effective as get in “time out”. Well, should I blame myself? I am the combination of alot of women. I am an older mom, that works fulltime. Why is this combination bad? I think it is because the guilt is overwhelming. I feel guilty that I am not home when she gets home, and lot of time I am on tv at night, coupled with being older and trying to squeeze in as much time as I can. Yes ladies, thats why I don’t make her go to bed at 7 o’clock.
When she barks in the morning that she doesn’t want to go, I would chalk it up to that phase that some kids go through. All of a sudden they want to stay home and avoid school. Some of my friends who were teachers kept telling me “oh please, every kid pulls this stunt”‘ no worries. I guess because of my profession I tend to think there must be a real problem. I know from my cases that when kids react a certain way it could signal real trouble that they don’t want to talk about. It could mean that they are afraid of something or someone. I go right to that place, and its hard to get out of it. Naturally, after several days of “I don’t want to go”, “I’m tired”, “I don’t want to learn” (Oh that was a doozie that sent me over the edge) I knew I had to get to the bottom of things. I always cross examine my daughter, about everything. I am so used to that method, cause I have to interview kids all the time. Sometimes she screams out, “stop asking me so many questions” my response is “uh no” not till you anwer them.
So we are driving to school and I said “Listen, what’s going on” “why don’t you like school’”? “Don’t you like your teachers?” “Yes” she said. “Don’t you like the other kids?” “No” she said. I responded with “why not?” She said “because they don’t play with me in the playground”. There it was, my heart just sank. Now comes the onslaught of fast paced questions, “what, who, where, why, which kids” the whole kit and kaboddle. I couldn’t believe it. “Who dare not want to play with my child?” I said tell me what happened. She’s 3 1/2 and had this scenerio. “I asked Natalie to play and she said no?” Then I asked Samantha to play and she said no”. I wanted to know if they were the only two out of fourteen. Then she said “nobody wanted to play with me”. “I don’t have any friends”. At that point, I almost pulled over. I was ready to go to school, run into a class of 3 year olds and scream “why aren’t you playing with my kid?” I was ready to stage an intervention.
Instead I said,” you get invited to everyone’s party, and I know that you have playcd with all these kids before, what happened? “I don’t know.” I then told her how I went to a party the week before and that nobody talked to me. I told her how mommy walked around all alone that night ( I did everyone was coupled up, no singles to even throw an eye at) but I knew that I had one good friend that I called when I got home. I said “I know you have one good friend in that class”. She said “I do!” Well, my love thats all you need. If people don’t want to play with you, you say ok, I only need one good friend! I then said “don’t you know that song,” One good friend is all I need, one good friend, yes indeed, we will play all day and be friends all the time, you are such a good friend of mine” (I totally just made it up in the car, but she bought it) She then proceeded to sing along, and I know she felt better. We went into school and I ran over to the teacher in a panic “does she have friends?” I was reassured by the teacher that she was fine. How did I know she was fine? I watched her play with alot of kids that day, (I stayed of course) and the next day she pulled the same morning routine. Never hurts to ask though.