Mae said she had a bad day and cried a lot at camp yesterday. She wanted to play with these three boys and, for whatever reason, they didn’t want to play with her. Well, she doesn’t like “no” and she kept asking. She says that the boys yelled at her because she kept asking to play. I asked if there were other kids that she could play with, and she answered that she didn’t want to play with anyone else.
Some of the friends she made last week are still at the camp, but they or their parents chose a different theme for this week. I tried to give Mae hope by telling her that maybe she’ll be grouped with those friends next week.
I asked how many times she thinks she should ask a kid to play, and she answered sadly, “once.” Then, I asked how she thinks it feels to be asked again and again, and she responded slowly, “annoying.” She knows, but it is hard for her to stop or re-direct herself once she’s on a certain path.
Talking about her day upset Mae. She started to cry and say that nobody likes her. I told her that I’m sure people like her because she is fun and funny. I told her to try asking to play once, and find something else to do if she gets a “no.” I reminded her to show her friends how kind, polite, and fun she can be.
It saddens me too to think of her trying to convince someone to let her play and then crying when they say no because I’ve seen this happen on the playground, and it’s a pretty pathetic site. At recess one day, Mae wanted to play with a little girl, K, that she wanted to be her best friend. K was clearly enjoying the chasing game she was playing with another group of classmates. But, Mae didn’t want to play that game, she just wanted to play with K. So, Mae ran after her on the playground, screaming, “Will you play with me?” louder and louder. When I finally got Mae to stop chasing K and come to me, I suggested that she play with someone else. I told her that maybe K was really enjoying herself right then and maybe she would play with her later. Not good enough. Mae broke into a hard cry and tried once again to catch up with K, calling her name repeatedly. I had wanted to allow her to finish recess before taking her home early that day. Instead, we left before recess ended because it was clear that it wasn’t going to end well.
At any rate, I hope today was better for her. Tonight, I’ll try to write a social story for her or do a role play on accepting no to help her practice what to do.