On Saturday I heard Professor Tanya Byron speak at the Mumsnet Blogfest.
I’ve loved her take on parenthood and all things kids, since I watched her on The House of Tiny Tearaways. Anyhow she got me thinking about something that happened to my 6 year old last week.
Post school my daughter tearfully came and told me another girl in her class had been very mean her. This girl and my daughter do not get on and have fallen out before. But this time she chose to talk about it in front of a bunch of mums who immediately suggested my daughter was being bullied and I go talk to the teacher.
I didn’t feel that it was bullying but part of the usual ebb and flow or kids liking and disliking each other. However, when I got home I started to wonder if I was wrong and if perhaps the advice I gave to my daughter to ignore this other girl entirely and not care what she was saying was right.
So I was relieved to here Professor Byron say much the same thing about kids being mean is not always being about bullying. And how incidences like these, while upsetting for a child are a good opportunity to teach them about emotional resilience. Something I really want my daughter to be able to do because being able to ‘bounce back’ from mean people and setbacks is key in life.
Tanya Byron’s advice
Is to simply teach your child them that someone else’s nastiness is about projection. Then show your child how to distance themselves emotionally. By realising that not everyone’s opinion should matter to them. Especially if they don’t like/get on with that person. It’s by creating these personal boundaries that a child will be able to cope when another child is mean to them.
It’s something I wished someone had taught me as a child/teen/adult. But what do you think? How are you teaching your children about emotional resilience?