J charged into the room and reprimanded Ry,” Ry, you had my CD in your room.” Ry didn’t miss a beat, he quickly shot back, ” you traded with me and said I could have it forever.” J followed with, ” Ok Ry, I’m sorry.” In that moment, I witnessed the difference between a 6.5 year old and a nearly 4 year old. J still has the trust and openness, and Ry has been learning about negotiating with other kids, what Stanley Greenspan calls, “playground politics.”
Ry still needs to check in when he feels unfairly treated by a friend or other kid, but mostly for reassurance. The other day he described how some kids had as much as “fifteen dollars” for a field trip to the zoo. Even though the camp requested the kids not bring more than a couple of dollars for a drink. He was frustrated he couldn’t buy much when some other kids “could even buy cotton candy!” And one kid offered to give him “one M&M for a $1.00.” I could feel myself regress to the days of agonizing with these moments.
I empathized with his struggle. I shared some of my own tales from the front. And then I said, “Ry, there are some things you just have to go through to learn how to deal with them.” In a short time, he was on to swimming class and done with it. Me, well, I’m still blogging about it.