Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life Lessons

This past week, Raphaela had a play date, during which (among other things) the girls played with play dough.  I will admit that because of remnants of my own control issues, combined with my artistic aesthetic, cannot stand when the dough gets mixed and turns into a murky dull brown color.  In my life, I love being surrounded by bright clear tones.

The other girl enthusiastically created a pizza out of several of the containers of play dough, and while it bothered me I said nothing, because I did not want to interrupt their fun.

Several days later alone with Raphaela, she became very sad and angry because she realized that what was done could not be undone; and Raphaela like me does not like dull brown play dough.  The anger came out toward her friend and she asked me indignantly, "Why did she do that to my play dough?  Why did she ruin it? I am going to put her in the garbage pail!"

(The "garbage pail" is the new phrase for anything or any one that makes Raphaela sad or frustrated.  The current residents of the garbage include mosquitoes and a woman who hit our car when we were leaving Gan.)

I calmly explained to Raphaela that she needs to express herself more clearly when something bothers her, that if she feels uncomfortable from something her friends or her teachers or other adults are doing, she has every right to say, "Stop! I don't like this!"

We practiced assertiveness in several imaginary situations, and hopefully this experience will provide my daughter tools to stand up for herself and her best interests, especially in Israeli society where weakness is more likely to be exploited.

1 comment:

Midlife Singlemum said...

You can also make more play dough quite cheaply from flour, water and food colouring (with something else, maybe baking powder?). There are recipes online (I don't have one or I'd send it to you but I have seen it).