Sometimes a child can help a friend when
parents or teachers cannot.
A child has the ability to speak powerfully into another child’s life because they use a kid’s vocabulary that is familiar to their friend. Our kids demonstrated this idea countless times in our family but one of the most vivid examples involved my second child, Jean.
The old, black phone, which was on the kitchen wall, rang after school. Surprisingly, it was for eight year old Jean. My kids didn’t usually converse over the phone till they were a few years older but this was a crisis.
Audrey, one of Jean’s friends at school, was distraught and crying over the phone. Her mother had looked up our number on the class list. She was most likely at feeling helpless, hoping that by simply talking to a good friend, her daughter would feel better.
Angela, the self-proclaimed princess of the grade two class at St. Thomas, had treated poor Audrey terribly all day. Jean was sympathetic but did not indulge Audrey’s self-pity.
My daughter raised her voice slightly to catch Audrey’s attention and then said,
“Audrey, how Angela treated you today has nothing to do with you. Angela was having a bad day and she took it out on you! She still likes you.”
Audrey snapped out of her emotional crisis and was soon chatting happily with my daughter.
Jean’s wisdom astonished me. I couldn’t remember explaining this human tendency to her. She must have learned this information just by being part of our family. Children learn not by just words and actions but by osmosis. When knowledge sinks in and becomes part of a kid, they are able to share and help their peers. That is a powerful tool to help other kids that we as parents or teachers should not ignore.