Monday, November 17, 2014

A little squabble

I've mentioned that, while the littles play well together, they do quarrel as well.

Last week, the littles were playing together with the chalkboard easel. Babydoll was holding on to the eraser while Ryan wrote on the chalkboard. When Ryan wanted to erase what he'd written, babydoll refused to give up the eraser. And so they squabbled and quarreled and babydoll started crying. I was in the next room, but I could hear everything. After a bit, babydoll came running to me, in tears, with Ryan behind her, also very upset.

I asked, "What's happening?" and Ryan explained the situation ("Meimei has the eraser, but I want it."). From experience, I guessed that he'd probably tried to wrestle the eraser from babydoll so I suggested, "Well, why don't you try talking nicely to her?" And so he asked his sister nicely for the eraser, with a please and in a quiet voice, and babydoll gave the eraser to him straightaway. Babydoll does sometimes refuse his requests, however nicely put, but this time, she was quite happy to leave the game and stay with me, safe in a hug.

I told Ryan matter-of-factly, "Well, now you have the eraser, what's next? Meimei wants to stay here now". Ryan got all upset of course. He wailed, "Nooooo.... I want meimei to play together with me!" I pointed out to him, still in a matter-of-fact tone, that he wanted the chalk and the eraser and now he had the chalk and the eraser; and babydoll was not part of the game anymore. Ryan became very apologetic, and started crying his sorry to babydoll and begged her to play with him.

Well, after a bit, babydoll relented and Ryan took her hand and they both went off to play again. I think the whole thing took less than two minutes?

The next time we hugged (which was about an hour later), I told my son, "Thank you for playing together with meimei just now", as an acknowledgement that he'd done a good thing by resolving the issue. He grinned from ear to ear.

A couple of days later, I was in the playroom and I came across the chalkboard easel. This was written on it: "RACHEL I am sorry that I snatch that eraser. RYAN".


(You can see that he forgot the "t" in the word snatch, and added it in later, haha.)

So it looks like, after they went back to their happy play in the playroom, Ryan wrote his sister a proper apology and kept it advertised on the board. That was pretty great, I think.

For what it's worth, I'd like to put this out there as food for thought - what would you have done if you were the parent in this situation?

1 comments:

MieVee @ MummysHomeschool.com said...

Haha… so cute! My elder two squabble every day too. Many times they play together nicely. Then they'd want the same thing and try to snatch. #2 is good at running away and shrieking to fend off #1.

Yes, I teach them to ask nicely too and often it works! Another way is to offer something interesting to exchange for the object he wants (barter trade practice). Works even when little #3 snatches something away and the older one needs to get it back (without snatching).

So i guess when kids are engrossed in play, they may forget the option of asking politely. :)

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