A coyote and pine cones. Unlikely ingredients for friendship for a 7 year old.
With warmer Spring days, T and I play outside after daycare pickup before heading home.
There is a group of moms and kids that are there every day.
It’s amusing watching T try to initiate play. He likes to be chased but these kids are younger and stick to their activity of stockpiling pine cones.
T often struggles with personal space, social cues, and impulse control, so his strategy to get their attention is to take their pine cones and run.
This would annoy the kids. On one recent outing, one boy saw T arrive and whined, “Oh no, not that kid again.”
This upset T and he vented during bedtime about how rude the kids were.
T is quick to point out others’ faults but fails to see these same faults in his actions.
The hubby and I try not to be helicopter parents. He has to learn to figure things out with ongoing coaching from us.
So I asked T to reflect on how his own actions may cause the kids to act that way and what he can do differently next time.
This past Wednesday, there was much excitement when we arrived at the park.
One mom said there was a wolf in the field.
I squinted my eyes at the animal lying down. It looked like a fox. Then it stood up. Yup, a coyote.
The kids were all excited and I pointed out the animal to T, who went from 0 to 100 in a flash.
I told T that coyotes are dangerous and we need to keep a safe distance and not agitate it.
So Mr No Impulse Control started shouting at the coyote and throwing pine cones at its direction.
The kids gathered close to T, who told the kids the coyote was dangerous. They huddled close together and it felt like a bonding moment.
On Friday afternoon, as T was swinging by himself, the kids went up to him and offered him pine cones from their pile. One kid at a time.
T stockpiled them on the side and kept swinging.
After he jumped off the swing, he approached the kids, who let him into their group play.
The hubby and I let T stay and play for while.
At bedtime, T asked about the kids in a positive way. The hubby and I praised him for a great afternoon of play and we asked him if it felt good to have a positive interaction with them.
We then gave him a hug and turned off the lights.