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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Guess who needs some help...

Being an expert does not necessarily mean that I have all the answers. What it does mean is that I know when to ask for advice when I need it.

Today, I am asking for advice from my readers because I have reached a point where I am out of ideas.

As I told you earlier, Kira has a new friend. The Friend and Kira spend as much time together as possible. They adore each other and having to leave is traumatic for Kira. I've used all the known methods for making this easier, but it isn't working.

(The Friend is here now because her Mom surrendered at 8:30 this morning and called with great apologies begging for admittance because she - The Mom - just couldn't take it anymore. She was very apologetic for calling before 9:00. Of course, we are always up that early and I am usually being assaulted by Kira with the same pleas for playtime with The Friend.)

I tell Kira when the visits begin how long they will last.

I tell Kira about a half hour before it is time to leave.

I tell Kira about ten minutes before it is time to leave.

I tell Kira about five minutes before it is time to leave.

As you can see, I provide her with the proper count down to prepare her for the end of the playing.

It isn't working. Last night, after The Friend had spent a few hours here and even had dinner with Kira, I warned Kira that it was almost time for The Friend to leave. Lo and behold, time to leave came and Kira melted down. She did not want her friend to leave. She wanted to go to her friend's house to play some more. She did not want to go to bed. She wanted her friend.

I even plan for some kind of activity to begin when The Friend leaves. Last night, Daddy was going to read her stories from her new Thomas the Tank book. She proclaimed that she did not like that - She wanted to play.

I really do not know how to make this easier for her. I am not ready for sleep-overs, here or there. I think she is too young for having sleep-overs unless she is staying with a Grandma. So playing does have to come to an end. The Friend has to go home eventually.

As much as I enjoy watching this new relationship, I just hate having the heartbroken Kira when The Friend has to leave.

I'm open to any advice that you may have for telling me how to make the transition less traumatic for Kira and The Friend.


SoccerMom said...

I know that she is still very young but have them exchange phone numbers. Go to the dollar store and get her a little phone book of her own. She can put her new friends number in it, her grandmas' etc... She will have that to hang on to so it wont feel like she will never be in contact with her "new" friend again. Also make sure she has a special picture of her and her "new" friend in her bedroom. I went through this with The girl and it seemed to help. The other thing you need to do is talk to "new" friends mom and get her to use the same methods you do for when it is time-to-go, if both of you are consistant she will be more comfortable. I wish you luck.

Mom said...

Thank you. I think I will have to take some pics soon of the two of them together.

Liss said...

In similar situations with my son I have made up social story books. I take photos of the whole routine from start to finish and laminate them in a book with a few words on each page explaining what happens. The end of the story should be positive such as a photo of the girls waving good bye to each other with words like "I'll see you tomorrow".

This way Kira cloud read the story in bed. You could also make the same book up for the friend to have too.

This will help then get use to the routine that they must eventually go home but will come back again soon.

tetsuo said...

try getting kira to make a gift, such as a picture or something for the friend at the end of play time. that way she will get used to the end of each play time, and look forward t giving the gift, next play time.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me like you've gone to reasonable lengths to make sure she knows what is going on. Tantrums are just one of those things that kids do. As far as making it "easier" for her, how could you possibly? At the risk of sounding harsh, I think you have bent over backwards and to go any further would put Kira in control of the situation. How far would you be willing to go? Be assured that you are not causing your daughter any harm. She likes her friend and that is great, but she also needs to begin to have the sense that not everything goes the way we like it. (for reference, I teach teenagers, and have a 4 and 2 year old myself).


Mom said...

I like the picture idea. I think I'll plan a trip to the local photographer and have some good shots taken.