"Mommy, he said that I had an ugly face."
I froze, mid-smile, as my children continued to get off of the bus.
We were soon the only group left on the corner; grasping my younger two children's hands, I looked at my eldest daughter, and asked:
Good answer, I thought, as we walked home quietly.
But she's seven, and am still going to do some damage control.
We got home, I got them all showered (even after years of camp I still can't believe how much dirt can get on a child in one day!), and fed.
Having our usual evening routine gave me the time and even the sense of calm (probably like my kids) to relax and think clearly, so I could gather my thoughts to have the kind of conversation I wanted to have with my daughter.
We talked at length about how everybody looks different, and that nobody has the right to judge what is beautiful or not.
We talked about the importance of being beautiful on the inside.
I applauded her reaction when she got off the bus, when she said that it doesn't matter.
I validated her feelings when she admitted that her feelings were still hurt.
I asked her to label her feelings, using my book, The Kids' Guide to Staying Awesome and in Control: Simple Stuff to Help Children Regulate their Emotions and Senses", where she stated that she was feeling:
Slow and Tired (physically tired-makes sense, after a long day of camp!)-our strategy for this was to go to bed shortly!
Fast and Emotional (feeling a strong emotion-she further broke it down to angry, sad, and worried to see him on the bus the next day).
Our strategies to get in control of these feelings were:
Taking deep and purposeful breaths, giving herself a tight hug (after getting a big one from me!) and putting her worries into a 'worry box'.
This coming from a strategy introduced in my new book:
"How to Be a Superhero Called Self-Control!: Super Powers to Help Younger Children to Regulate their Emotions and Senses".
Please see below for details.
We referenced the book "How Full is Your Bucket", and she quickly made the connection that his bucket must surely be empty because he often makes other children feel sad on the bus.
As I mentioned earlier, this is an example of a strategy, or super-power introduced in my new book coming out November 21st in most major bookstores (yay!).
I had her picture a box: what type of material was it made of?
What color was it? Next I had her picture a lock and key.
What type of metal was it?
Then, I had her take all those worries and 'yucky' feelings, and put them in the box, seal it, and lock them up tightly.
We were both ready for bed at that point.
The next day, when I picked her up off the bus, she told me she defended a friend from that same child.
Proud mommy, pretty sure even prouder daughter.
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