Friday, July 31, 2009

Assertiveness is genetic, isn't it?

I had something happen with Layla yesterday that was the first time (with Mike or I) that she was left to deal with an uncomfortable situation on her own, and she failed. Miserably.

I like to think of myself as a self assured, strong, assertive woman. I generally speak my mind and work hard to NOT be pushed around by others. And Layla shares many of these traits AT HOME. She's a trip, man. And I love it. But she is terribly shy and very different in public. In fact, I often think that if someone who hears only stories of her were to actually meet her, they would not believe that it was the same child. But alas, she is not a dancing monkey who will perform on demand.

Okay, so back to the story. So we're at the bouncy gym and she is off playing. I keep a close eye on her (while Evie is in the wrap) but at the same time, try and give her space to explore and practice skills with peers. I see her go into a bouncy thing that is enclosed. I give her some time to play in there and come out the other side, but come out the other side, she did not.

I walked over and peeked in, only to see her standing frozen, like a deer in headlights, in a corner. And an older boy (maybe 5?) laying sideways in front of her, blocking her from getting around him and out of the corner. My child had absolutely no idea how to deal with this situation, and that bothered me. A lot. So after I throttled the little fucker, Layla and I had a little chat.

So now she knows what to say to someone in a situation like this, next time it happens. And in case this doesn't work, and you're wondering what a counselor (who is trained in conflict resolution and other non violent methods) tells her kid to do? Kick them. Hard. Daddy will show you where.

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