As a child you are taught to play nice with other kids. You are educated at a very young age that you need to share, respect your peers and work out your differences.
As a new mom I couldn’t wait to start the “play date” schedule. We were going to join a playgroup, meet new friends and really live it up. I researched all of our area groups and finally found a few new friends at our local library story time. My baby was probably a year or so old. Old enough to start teaching her to share her toys and not smack the kid that just stole her toy right out of her hands. After story time was play time. The mom’s usually talked and the kids played. Aaaaaaahhh…. adult conversation!
It doesn’t take long for you to figure out the different parenting personalities. There are the more strict helicopter parents. There are a few loosey goosey parents that believe in letting their children learn all of life’s lessons through natural consequences and experience. Nothing wrong with either one. Of course there are a few who fall in the middle.
Then it happens, the first kid gets smacked in the head with a toy. The kid’s mom rushes over, tells her child it’s not nice to hit, makes her apologize (as much as a 1 year old can do), they hug it out and they go again. Mom apologizes to the victims mom and we all take note. Now two more kids are fighting over a toy. We, as parents, are meant to teach our kids to figure out how to deal with this situation. We start when they are young playing with toy trains.
A few years down the road our kids are no longer fighting over toy trains. They are trying to figure out who they are and who their friends are. They are creating BFF lists. They are deciding who they will choose on the playground kickball team. They start having disagreements over friends and who is friends with who. We, as parents, encourage them to talk it out. Work it out. Talk to each other and discuss the problem. Fix it. Move on. We teach them how to agree to disagree. We teach them that sometimes some friends aren’t really the friends we thought they were. We teach them that they don’t have to like each other but they still need to be nice. We hope they learn how to deal with conflict effectively since it’s constant in the real world.
As adults we owe it to our children to get involved in their education and activities as much as we are able. When doing this we encounter many different types of parents. We do the same things our kids are doing…. picking out our friends, establishing our “teams” and try to dominate the playground. The difference is when we are forced to deal with conflict. I’m noticing that most of these parents/adults hang out in the background, listen to the action, and complain to each other. At some point someone says something to the rest of the group and the drama unfolds. This is where I lose it…. If you don’t like something, bring it up to the entire group, let’s talk it out and move on. The same thing we are trying to teach our children. In fact, our children are pretty good at it. Adults… awful. If you don’t want to bring it up to the group and have a chance at changing anything than you have no right to complain. I seem to be in the minority that truly believe this. In the event that your idea is not accepted, why on earth can’t we put on our big girl pants and move on. You don’t have to like everyone in the group, you just need to be nice to them. Again, I hold my children to this standard, why am I the exception? I’m not. And neither are you.
Faced with a difficult situation? Do you not agree with everything your parent group does? You don’t like working with some people? Either talk it out, deal with it and move on or just go away. Be nice. Be respectful. To everyone.