Lucy was playing with a friend at an outdoor event and the friend added another friend to their group. Lucy, who can be shy, tried her best to play and have fun. However, the other friend took her ball out of Lucy’s hand in a demanding manner (as kids do) and Lucy told me her feelings were hurt.
Both girls came up to Lucy and asked her what’s wrong. They both showed compassion and empathy without understanding why Lucy was sad. Lucy froze. I attempted to create a safe space for Lucy to speak up and say what upset her. However, Lucy asked me to tell them. I responded by saying, “No Lucy, you have to say what’s wrong so they hear you and understand. I think both girls want to be your friend.” Lucy decided not to tell them and we left.
We talked in the car with the encouragement of her big brother. Lucy said she wished she said something. Since this experience, I am questioning if I should have spoken up.
My thought with not speaking up for her was to instill the courage to speak up for herself and learn advocacy. I have spoken for her in the past, but I want her to be able to stand up for herself whether I’m there or not.
Every parenting book and article will tell you something different. This is why I have to remember there is no end all scenario in parenting and we are all doing the best we can. What are your thoughts with your own parenting style related to Lucy’s experience?