You know how some children are just so sweet and sensitive and soft and gentle? Kate is not so much like that. She has MANY redeeming qualities, but being soft and sweet is not one of them. To be honest, I prefer her the way she is. I love that she is so strong, that she is a leader and that she takes charge. I love that she is so confident and I especially love that she gets along with just about everyone.
While some children have BEST friends, or a small group of really close friends, Kate is friends with everyone. She prefers playing with the non-girly girls, but she does play with them too (she ask them if she can be their dog and they love it). She also plays with almost all the boys, except for the really rough ones. She moves between all the groups of friends at school.
Kate is a gregarious, confident, friendly, clever, take charge kind of girl. However, sometimes she can be a bit insensitive to the more sensitive type of friend. And although I said above that I love her just the way she is and that I am actually quite proud of how she interacts with her world, I do think a dose of sensitivity towards others wouldn't go amiss.
I was chatting to my BFF about this yesterday. Should I, can I *make* Kate be more sensitive to her BF who loves her so? Can I tell her that she HAS to play with a friend's slightly developmentally delayed child who adores her? My BFF said I can and should as this is a life skill - through out life you sometimes have to be friendly with or nice to people you might not always want to. She is right - sometimes you have to kiss ass or play nicely with people you would far rather give a kick up the pants.
Yesterday on the way to taking her to a play date, I decided that it was the perfect time to have a little heart to heart with Kate about this. We were alone, she had just told me she loves me up to Jesus, even past him and even up to Space (because I was taking her to a play date), it was the right moment:
Me: Kate, you know how some people are a bit bigger than others, or faster or stronger and some people aren't? Well, we must remember to be nice to all people, even those who aren't as clever or strong as us.
Kate: Am I stronger and faster and cleverer?
Me: Well, yes but not everyone is good at everything and it is important to be kind to all people, even when you sometimes don't want to play with them. Being kind is very important. Even when you don't always feel like playing with the person, you should always be kind. (carried on a bit about being kind etc) What do you think?
Kate: Excuse me, can you repeat that? I fell asleep there for a minute.
Kate: That is what Chowder says on TV *giggles*
Me: You are not watching any more Chowder!
Me: And anyway, we have to be especially nice to XYZ because he is a bit sad at the moment. Sadly his mommy and daddy have decided not to be together any more (explained a bit about divorce etc) Isn't that sad..
Kate: Yes, that is sad...... Please PLEASE can I get a puppy*???
I laughed to myself. That child! Adam is SO sensitive and caring and worried about others. Kate not so much. I am always amazed at how two children who shared a womb and who were raised pretty much the same can be so different. Adam has a best friend who he absolutely LOVES. He wants to marry his best friend. Kate plays with anyone who comes along.
Do you MAKE your children play with other children that they don't want to be friends with? Do you make them be friendly in the way that you think they should be friendly. Please dont think Kate is nasty to other children, she isn't. She actually loves her BF a lot, she is just not always so sensitive to her needs. Kate is just not a one-on-one, intense kind of BF.
I hope I have made sense in this post. I've had to change some facts here and there so that I don't upset anyone, but I hope you get the gist of my question.
*The puppy thing - Kate is begging every day to get a puppy. A puppy and a fish. I am leaning towards fish.