“Your mouth is smelly. I don’t want to sit next to you. Go to another seat.” That was what L’s best friend in class said to her last Friday. L bottled it up inside her and only let me know about it when I noticed her being extremely quiet and sad looking before bedtime on Friday night. With a bit of probing, she told me what happened to her that day.
She considered this girl to be her best friend and plays with her a lot during school time. I can really see that it broke her heart when she said that to her. I asked L what she said or did when she heard it and L told me that she moved away and found another seat. My heart was torn into pieces. I am upset that my little girl was unable to stand up to the “not-so-nice” comments and failed to react in a more confident way. There’s no way that her mouth was smelly since she drinks plenty of water and she practices good oral hygiene by brushing properly after every meal. But then again, I realized that L is only 3 years old and as a parent, I need to educate and reinforce to her over and over again on how to deal with such conflicts. She must learn to be able to handle it well cos similar events are bound to happen again, that’s a certainty.
I shared with L’s teacher and asked for her opinion as I recognized that it was a learning moment. I must say that I was rather disappointed with her response. She brushed it aside and said that it’s probably just a fart. She assured me that she would speak with that classmate of L’s. So when I picked L up later that day, the teacher updated me that she spoke with the both of them and got them to hug and make up after an apology. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a better way to approach this type of issues in pre-school children.