Looking into Our Child’s World

It was painful to watch.  Every move I saw my daughter take, I felt stung. Although, it probably wasn’t that noticeable to the rest of the crowd.  At our K4J Club mission I saw Gianna pull away, not engage, not smile, not connect, and isolate herself from her peers.  From the popular, bubbly, in-demand 1st grader, over two years she had become socially uncomfortable and awkward.

I recognize some of it in her temperament:  quiet, kind, gentle, not pushy, always the one helping the down-and-out kids in the class. With the exception of a few inconsiderate, unintentional incidents, Gianna’s peers are nice.  But I could see how even the very minor, uncharitable peer situations had contributed to Gianna’s loss of confidence.  It added to her deep seated abandonment issues from being left by her biological parents in China.  Timid, sensitive, and kind sometimes don’t cut it in 3rd grade without a bit of assertiveness and street-smartness to go  with it.

As much as it hurts to see it, I was grateful that we were in a safe, loving environment and my spouse and I were able to be present and attentive to behaviors, which if ignored could lead to big problems. Gratefully, the situation is not irreparable; in fact, we are nipping it in the bud.  It can be corrected with a little bit of effort and focus.  With a little more positive attention and guided healing Gianna will not only survive, but will thrive socially.

My husband and I sat down with Gianna and shared our observations and concerns.  We told her we loved her and would be there for her.  Together we’d work through this.  And we ended with a hug and me cherishing the opportunity to have looked into our child’s world, responding with love and support.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  What do you see when you look into your child’s world… and what do you need to do about it?