Rejection / Resilience

  
Two tough words. Even tougher for a 6 year old to go through. 

My son is 6 going on 10. He’s so mature for his age. Anyone who knows him, would agree. He’s charismatic. Yesterday, I was a super-proud mum. He was nominated as the male student representative council (SRC) rep for his class, along with his female friend. There’s 2 chosen for each class from year 1 through to year 6. I think it’s pretty cool that the school includes students from as young as year 1 to be part of the SRC. It’s a great way to reiterate the values that they have in the school such as responsibility, respect, care, integrity, fairness and cooperation. Almost identical to the values we have in the workplace in this day and age. 

So when I heard he was in the SRC, I thought this meant he was a great example to his peers. 

It’s tough to think that he experienced rejection on the same day he felt proud of himself. But I guess it made it ok because I was there to help him get past it, rather than him going through it alone. 

Here’s a brief rundown on what happened:-

He was in front of his classroom dropping off his bag before the school bell rang.

He saw his friends playing and took a drawing out of his bag and gave it to his friend.

  
His friend took one look and gave it back, saying “why do you draw things for me?!?!” And walked away. 

The look on my son’s face was heartbreaking. I felt his pain. He was gutted. Then he looked at me and said “well, that was a fail.” I told him not to worry and asked him, how will you bounce back from this? 

He didn’t say much and we proceeded to walk to the office to drop off the payment envelope for his school disco.

My boy had experienced rejection at 6 and as much as I wanted to say something to this kid who hurt my son, I also wanted my son to figure out how he was going to get through it on his own. Because I’m certain things like this will happen again and I won’t always be there to help him bounce back. I have to teach him how to be resilient at 6. How do you that when your heart is breaking for them? 

They say if you want the truth, ask a kid. And that’s great but what about when kids do wrong? Is it fair to blame their parent/s? I think so. But some parents are so caught up in their own selves that they don’t see it. They can be in denial – what then? Things like this (and it may seem minor) is what is happening to our kids. The problem with this day and age is that parents are sometimes spending so much time on social media, on their phones and working too much (to name a few) that they forget to be a parent. And I’m guilty of these things too. I’m not perfect. But I will add that I spend a lot of time with my son teaching him about life. 

Strangely, if people see me in the street (and I may snapchat this one day) but they may think I’m being harsh. Or OTT about something that happened. I do this purely to teach my son a lesson. Granted, he may do that exact same thing he did wrong again the very next day but what I will say is that I KNOW that he understands everything I say. He’s just forgetful and at the end of the day, he’s only a child. I can only keep trying. 

He bounced back pretty quickly after this event but it makes you wonder, how does a 6 year old deal with rejection? 

How do they really feel? 

Will this affect them long term?

Is it something he’ll always remember?

I know that when I was rejected by friends at high school, it was tough. But I was about 17 when this happened. And to this day, I’m still scarred. Rejection hurts. But I do hope for his sake, that this doesn’t stick with him and any other kids going through the same thing. I hope it’s temporary but I doubt it. Kids can remember their childhood from about 2.5 years old. So any parent reading this, beware of what your child hears/sees from you and what you do. But better still, be a parent. This kid that emotionally hurt my son clearly has issues. I don’t know what they are but his parents need to teach him a thing or 2 about kindness. My son is a kind soul and drew this because he cared enough about his friend that he wanted to give him something. As meaningless/priceless as a drawing may be, it’s the thought that counts.

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