Saturday, June 05, 2010

I don't know what hurt the most

Watching Cheese's daughter's face go from delight to dislike or hearing her say, "I thought you were my dad's...girlfriend, but you don't like to be called that"

All I could do was look at him and tell him they need to watch what they say around her.

Because I know that in her 4 year old mind what she really hears is, "You don't like my dad". It's not her fault. She doesn't understand things like baggage and taking it slow. And who knows what has been said about me in front of her. That she can't stay over at my house? That her dad wants to be with me instead of spending time with her?

Kids listen. They remember. And because they don't understand context and they don't know that there might be more to the story, they make up their minds about things based on the information they process.

Right now, there's a little girl sleeping a couple of miles away that doesn't like me very much. Knowing that makes me glad she was asleep when I got there. And even more glad that I'm not ok with staying over.

But tomorrow, I will have to take a deep breath and spend time with her knowing that she considers me competition for her dad's attention. I will have to know that even though I don't want to be, I am. And that when he drops her off for the party, she will think she's being left. again.

proceeding with caution.


Sensei said...

What you want to do is figure out how she can compete for YOUR attention. That is, find out how she will WANT to be with you away from distractions.

Sounds counter-productive to what you want. But, it really will work wonders for you.

Here's why. If she wants to be with you, she will be so glad when you can give her moments of your time. She will do whatever she can to earn those moments of time with you. The more she wants to be with you, the less time you need to spend with her.

For instance, if she is ever at your house and dad has to run to the store, take a nap, or even a prolonged session in the badezimmer, take that moment of time to introduce her to your crafts. While she helps you, tell her how dgood she is at doing it, and re-enforce positive things about the job she is doing.

Let her pet your rabbit, or whatever furry creature you share your house with.

These are not coloring in books or anything she can do with anyone else, but things only you can introduce her to. She will associate the positive time with you.

That will make her want to be with you. And the very few times hse gets to do those things with you will re-enforce that you are fun to be with.

And, she is not too young. I was helping my mom with similar things when I was 4.

Samantha M. said...

Since I was in her position when I was her age and up until I was about 14 I understand. If you ever want a fresh persepective on we could chat about it