I think this is one of the trickiest parts of parenting: knowing when to let go and let children sort out problems for themselves. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when you should leave them and when you shouldn’t. It’s a tightrope to walk and I think we all get it right sometimes and wrong sometimes.
When we go to a weekly class, J has experienced some problems with another boy of the same age. When this boy does the same thing to a younger child or even to a girl of the same age, a serious view is taken of it and the parent intervenes. When it’s J though, generally it is left as it’s ‘they’ll sort it out’. It doesn’t sit entirely right with me. The truth is they don’t really sort it out. J gets upset or hurt (slightly) and the situation doesn’t move on at all. The same thing happens next time too.
I’ve tried suggesting strategies for J to help deal with it and they sometimes work for a week or so, but then we find ourselves back in the same situation. The problem is that J isn’t the one initiating the problems, so he’s often on the back foot in trying to deal or respond to it. He has tried changing his behaviour, but the other child doesn’t seem to have made any changes. I think for the other child it isn’t a problem as he isn’t getting hurt/upset and his parent doesn’t want to take action. Sometimes you have to intervene.