Wednesday 24 August 2016

How to Make Friends and Influence People - Little Man Style

Little Man is due to start High School this September. I am amazed at how this milestone in his life has come around already and I have also been a little worried about how he is going to manage. Little Lady was always tough and vocal. Gorgeous is big and loud – everyone knows if he is not happy. Little Man in between is both physically slight and quiet. Probably not that quiet, but definitely in comparison to some of the other big gobs in our house. His new secondary school is very good alhamdulillah but also very big and full of tough kids (Little Lady spent a term there before going to Islamic School). I have visions of him being bullied or becoming very lost amongst so many children.

Watching him over the holidays has really helped assuage some of my fears though. There have been a few incidents where he has handled himself really well and shown how he can get on with people. A few weeks ago at the park, a much larger boy came over to him, immediately making me think he is a bully (my bad for judging, although Little Man had told me earlier that a boy had been threatening towards him). The boy had come over to ask about a mutual friend and once they got talking I realised he was from the school LM would be attending and they knew lots of boys in common from previous years that had moved from his primary school to the secondary. I was happy knowing he had a new friend at his school, especially one that looked so tough.

Yesterday on the way home from my office, we took the kids to the park. Little Man brought something called Fun Snaps with him. They are little twists of white paper with something like gun powder in them. You throw them on the floor and they make a loud bang. They are banned inside my house, because they also make a big mess. LM threw one on the floor and a little kid nearby freaked out – he was in awe because he had never seen such a thing. So LM explained what they were and poured him out a handful only for the boy to go into meltdown, jumping up and down, giving us all the thumbs up and yelling excitedly “You are my best friend!” You are my best friend!” This prompted LM to go back and give him the whole box. We could see him as we left, surrounded by his friends, testing out his snaps.

The little boy’s reaction made my day. I love people who are easily pleased or who are quick to show happiness or appreciation. But what made me happier was how LM had behaved and how easily he won this boy over. It reminded me of times he had done it before in different ways and it made me feel a lot easier about his move from being a big fish in a little pond at primary to being the little fish in a big lake at secondary

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