‘My best friend wont play with me’

I was sat in the kitchen with James and Ava after school one afternoon, when James casually said “Bob* said he didn’t want to play with me today”. The moment he said it, I knew that our conversation was no longer on casual ground.

I replied in an equally casual voice “Oh, what happened”.

Nothing had happened, Bob had just decided that he didn’t want to play.

“He will forgot in the morning, or after dinner, he always does. Its okay”  he told me – Not only did Bob decide he didn’t want to play, this isn’t the first time he has done it. My six year old tells me this casually, and reassures ME that everything is okay.

“Did it make you feel sad, what did you do?” I asked

“I played with some other friends” James answered “He tried to get them to play with him instead of me”

“Did they?” I asked.

“No, they played with me. He always tells people they cant play, but I am kind and I let everyone play”

We talked a little longer, and discussed how Bob might make people feel, and I told him how proud I was of him for including everyone.

James came home this week with a certificate for teamwork, when I asked him what he had done, he told me that he had played with a little boy who was feeling sad to cheer him up.

That just about sums up my little man, he loves everything to be fair, and he wants everyone to be happy. I am so very proud of his resilience and strength of character. It takes a lot of character to stand up to your peers, and it takes a certain level of maturity to not take things personally or react negatively. At six years old his ability to observe someone is unhappy and to try and cheer them up is amazing.

Bob is okay, he can be unkind and naughty, but he is five years old and just a little boy. Honestly, there are times I really want to say “Bob isn’t very nice, don’t play with Bob”. I have to remind myself that its not my decision who James is friends with, and as far as friends go, he could do worse!

If I say “Don’t play with Bob”, the likelihood is that James will play with bob because its a small class, it would be hard not to. He just wouldn’t want to tell me about it. I don’t think he would do this to be deceptive, but he wouldn’t want to make me unhappy. By not judging, James feels he can talk to me and trust me with his problems.

On the other side of the coin, I have to remember when he doesnt handle things well,  that just like me he is learning. Everyday I reflect, and I always think I could of handled something better. I want him to be able to talk to me so I can help him reflect and find his own way.

I read a similar thread on the subject and a one lady made an interesting comment. The original poster was worried that a ‘naughty’ boy would lead her son astray, and the lady commented that maybe she should think of it as her son having a positive effect on the ‘naughty’ boy. She had lots of other interesting things to say, but that comment really stuck with me and I still remember it months later.

All my children are so very different, with their own characters and passions, they definitely light up our world. I felt James’ pain when he told me that his friend didn’t want to play with him, I know it made him feel sad, and when he told me my heart sank. If I am like this now, goodness knows what I will be like when James is 16! I dread to think. I hope that James and his sisters have a smooth journey through school, and if not I wish for lots of wine!

*Bob has been renamed.

I am linking up with Katie from MummyDaddyMe for her #TheOrdinaryMoments Linky, though I hope this isn’t an ordinary moment! But I hope that James talking and trusting me is.