Yesterday was the first day back to school.
We’ve had a pretty wild Easter break full of boundary pushing and rule breaking. It’s been totally full on and quite a challenge at the best of times (as school holidays are) but tons of fun too. I was pretty taken aback to find that my little wild child had snapped back to normal, into the shape of perfect kindness yesterday *given that I’ve still not recovered from the slime incident!
If there was a picture next to the word kindness in the dictionary, her face would definitely be plastered there (for the majority of the time). And I’m not just saying that because I’m her mum. She really is super kind.
She’s often the one that didn’t get a turn, because she was too busy telling everyone else to go ahead.
She’s the one who gives up her playtime to look after a poorly friend, even though the sun is shining and she desperately wants to get outside.
She would be the one to give all her lunch away to someone who had nothing. The one to give their last batch of cupcakes to a homeless person.
And she’s the one to forgive a classmate for deliberately ransacking her project (twice on a row), because he forgot to do his own one and possibly felt embarrassed.
But the trouble with sprinkling kindness around like confetti without a care in the world is that you can sometimes get unintentionally pushed around and overlooked.
So anyway, she woke up yesterday morning, and her first thought was the new themed area which would have been set up in her reception class. Her teacher is amazing at stuff like this. After her initial yay’s, the nay’s quickly followed unexpectedly. For the first time, she voiced that she probably wouldn’t get a turn today in the new area… because everyone else (the boys) would push in front of her.
For a grown up, this would be trivial stuff, but for a 5 year old it’s epic.
Then, I did something really, really blinking stupid. I told my daughter that she should just push them back – what was I thinking?! Obviously not a lot, because that was clearly the wrong thing to say.
She gave me a curious look and went on her way.
It wasn’t until I was at work that I sat there realising what I had said and the possible consequences that could follow. I’d literally given her a get-out-of-jail for free card to go ahead and errrm be naughty. And more worryingly, I’d unwittingly told her it was ok to copy bad behaviour if everyone else was doing it. #Bum.
I sat on the edge of my seat the whole day wondering if I would get a call from school… aherm.. Mrs Button? Your daughter pushed someone over at school today. Yes, totally bowled them over. No really, just bowled them right over and ran into the new themed area. Her reason? Oh, she said that YOU told her to do it. #Great.
I can hardly remember how I got home, because all I could think about was that happening! But when I got there, she smiled. “I didn’t push Mummy!” she said. “You can’t push, even if everyone else is. That’s the law” she shouted proudly. Phew!
Little Button is a good one, and there’s probably very little that could ever sway her away from doing the right thing.
That what we say as parents matters. A lot. Those little brains are sucking up every scrap of information we send their way.
That as tempting as it is to say ‘push back’ for a number of given scenarios, pushing back doesn’t really teach a little one how to stand up for themselves. It just ill equips them for later down the line when they do have to deal with difficult situations. It could also potentially pave the way for bullyish behaviour. #NotCool
So, although I totally put my foot in it, the first day back to school went by without a hitch. And yes, Little Button did get to venture into the new area, without any pushing.
Have you ever put your foot in it?