Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'm not above bribery, or, as I like to think of them, "earned rewards."

So what do you do when your four year old is bawling and says, "I don't want to go to school! I don't like it anymore!"

It breaks your heart because you wonder if it has anything to do with what she said the other day,

"Lexi said I couldn't be in her girl club."
I'm thinking...What girl club, you're four years old for heaven's sake!?!
What I said was, "I'm sorry, how did that make you feel?"
"Sad and angry." She's telling me this in her most matter-of-fact voice. "She said nobody was my friend."
"Oh. Well when I was a little girl, some of my friends said they didn't want to be my friend anymore, so I found new friends. Do you think you'd like to find new friends?"
"Okay, well maybe she'll change her mind tomorrow... *pause* I hope you never ever say things like that."
"Oh, no. I don't say that."
"Good, because that's not very nice and it can hurt someone's feelings."
Charly pipes in: "Yeah, that wasn't kind."

And that was it.

I think.

She hasn't said anything more about it, but that doesn't mean it's over, I suppose.

Who is this little tyrant anyway? Sam is such a sincere, constant, loving little girl, she assumes everyone else is too, and that means her feelings are more available for the hurting. She doesn't understand when kids are flippant and changeable.

Like I said, I have no idea if that has anything to do with her new-found aversion to school, but I can't get into the habit of letting her stay home now, so she knows it's not an option later.

I probed a little bit about what specifically she didn't like anymore, and she said, "Everything! I don't like anything anymore!"

"Oh, Mrs. Drury will be so sad when you're not there today."

This didn't seem to change her mind, so I tried a new tactic.

"How about I put a piece of candy in your lunch and you can eat it when it's lunchtime at school?"

She thought about for about half a second..."Okay." she said with dry eyes.

So, she picked a piece of leftover *Halloween candy, and we were off! And we weren't even late!

*Does anyone else's child choose Smarties over other candy? Sam seems to prefer them over anything chocolate (she gets that from me). They even beat out licorice, tootsie pops, and Starburst.


  1. Abigail chooses Smarties too. We have lots of Smarties because they were her favorite this year. They were "bracelets" because they resemble those candy bracelets that kids love. so sorry Sam is having problems with school, that stinks.

  2. Classic case of relational agression---researchers at BYU found kids (mostly girls) using it as young as 3 years old, where instead of hurting physically, they hurt by damaging relationships. I think you handled the situation pretty well, but you may want to keep your ears pricked. It can get nasty, especially in later years.

  3. Um no. Sarah LOVES chocolate. She gets THAT from me. :) Can I beat up Lexi or at least her mother?

  4. Same sort of thing happened to Madeleine in kindergarten for a while. Then they became friends for real -- I don't know what that was all about, but I told her pretty much the same thing and so far she's fine (and that girl moved away anyway -- and she was the daughter of one of the stake presidency members & stake r.s. counselors). I'm sorry though. It feels so heartbreaking sometimes. Good luck with this one. And next time you're in Provo, come to Macey's with us and Sam can get smarties at the checkout line.

  5. Natalie. Wow. I LOVE the conversation you had and the words that you said. Such wisdom. You are an inspiration to me and all frequently overwhelmed mothers out there. Thanks!