Few times I face the situation where my daughter come and tell me :
“Mum, my friend does not want to be my friend in school?”
“Mum, my friend keeps winning the game and i always loose?”
“Mum, why my hair is not pretty as my friend hair?”
“Mum, I am not happy with my name, it does not sound nice?”
etc. Probably to us as an adult they are small problems or complains and we don’t even bother to work on it to make us feel better. But for these little heart this means *A Big Deal*, for them this is a big tragedy in their life that bring sorrow on their face. Children are very sensitive and emotional, so they can easily affected by something that is bothering their mind.
Usually when I face these questions from my little girl, I always try to reverse this negative attitude toward the problem into something positive. I don’t want her to feel that I am ignoring her feeling or disappointment, but I also don’t want her to think that *IT is alright to complaint over small things in her life*. Because for me personally complaining does not bring you anywhere, it does not even solve your problem.
Here are some tips I usually use to my daughter:
1. This is the first thing I told her! Complaining does not solve your problem or even make you happier. Usually we discuss how to make it better. Depend on her complain, some complain you can definitely suggest a corrective action from her part to solve it. For example, she can get more practice so she can be a winner as well on a competition.
2. I also counsel her that there are BIGGER thing in life that she has to worry about than just her problem. I give her example of the danger of not recycling the garbage that can cause harm to the planet. I even illustrate further how terrible our planet will be when every where we live full of garbage that can not be recycled. I even make it specific by reminding her the movie of pixar’s Wall-E. You can also show the bigger problem to our life with What-If situation. You can come up with any crazy ideas on this that can danger our mankind. I love to use this one What If there is no more Sun, Moon or Cloud that keep pouring rain.
3. I also guide her how to react to pressure given by her friend, for example the one that say ” I don’t want to be your friend!”, I told her – that does not matter at all. The world is so big, she can have friends from many different part of the world. She can even have friends from her Facebook, her Kumon class and her other classes, from the playground and many more places that she can not think off. I told her she can respond to her friend with a smile ” That is Okay, I can understand it. I can find friends from my other class if you want to”. Usually she will smile when I remind her of this. She said “I forgot I have many other friends. I thought my friends are just the one from school!”
4. the LAST big thing to do which is ONE of my most favorites thing to do is BIG HUG! Just give her a deep long HUG and tell her how much she is very special for me.
I usually have a relief face once we are over with this conversation on how to manage complaint in our life with her.
But she is only 6, there are many more years to look forward and her complaint will never be the same anymore.
I am looking forward for that with full of hope and joy!