It's Never Okay To Hate
My 4 year old used the term HATE loosely with a classmate? Of course a discussion and reasoning is sometimes difficult with a 4 year old, the conversation turned into a complete tear filled meltdown. Allowing G many moments to think and an incredible amount of patience, I tried to gather insight into why such harsh words were exchanged at school.
Unfortunately my daughter has a very friendly personality and can be quite the charmer, but also very distinctly craves personal space. She went through a phase when she was 2 or 3 years old, when she wouldn't even let us lie down on her bed with her. It was her space and she put up those boundaries very confidently. With that said, desiring personal space, never, ever in my mind would justify using such hurtful words. In our home, we simply don't use the word hate. We have always embraced allowing the girls to form their own opinions and let us know when something just didn't feel right to them, but HATE, I just don't like it. Nor do I tolerate my daughter openly using it with classmates.
Through out our discussion about the conflict, G finally shared that the little girl likes to touch her hair, sit very close to her, and always holds onto her dress or clothing when she is next to her. Of course we talked through how to appropriately tell her classmate that she needed some personal space in a way that was kind. While I struggled with contacting the teacher to alert of her of the situation and possibly intervene, ultimately I allowed G to apologize and share with the girl her need for personal space. It was important for me to give G the opportunity to recognize when someone made her feel uncomfortable and handle it in a manner that was not intentionally hurtful.
After school the next day, I confirmed that G apologized straight off to the girl. I made sure to witness a calm resolve between the two before we set off on our walk home that morning. I'm not sure if the way I handled the situation worked, but I do know opening dialogue and working through things has a positive impact on G. I hope she can take those lessons with her through her school years. I'm much happier when the worst part of the day was when she could only have one snack, not two.