I met with a first grader the other day. I'm a reading specialist and I have taken her a for a short intervention. B had just returned from the playground when she walked into my room. I could see the emotions on her face and asked what was wrong. She burst into tears and started complaining in a shrill voice about a villain in her class who would not allow her to join his club. Her lip went down, her big tears streamed her face and she proceeded with mumblings and rantings.
I realized the reading lesson was over for the day. I took my hand and put it above her head and told her the drama was up here. She could talk about it calmly if she brought it down to here; a place closer to her elbow.. It was difficult for her to bring it down I suspect because she is accustomed to being over the top and out of control.
The lesson of the day became "If it's to be, it's up to me," I read her a book about a shy boy who makes friends by being brave enough to ask other children to play. B was engrossed and looking very serious as I read to her. When I finished the book I explained the saying, "B, you're the only one who can make B. happy. If you want to be happy, it's up to you.
"If this boy says you can't be in the club; you know he's being a mean, bossy cow." I told her. She got hysterical laughing at the word, cow. "Bossy cows boss everyone. Do you like playing with bossy people?" I asked. She shook her head, no. "Then when Villian Boy says you can't play, go look for someone else," I said. The drama reared back up to over the top and I stopped her again. B. who else can you play with?" I asked. "Carina," she said. "She thinks he's annoying".
When Villain Boy, says you can't be in his club say, Oh, well, so sad, too bad, I don't want to play with bossy people and find Carina. I had her repeat, if it's to be it's up to me and oh well, so sad, too bad and asked her if she liked playing with bossy people. From a reading perspective this lesson was a total loss, however, it was a strong life lesson.
Yesterday, I went to get her for reading time; she was by her teacher outside her classroom. I said, "B. what did you learn yesterday?" "I'm the only one who can make B. happy and if it's to be, it's up to me." "Awesome!" I told her. "Who likes to play with bossy people?" I asked. She said, "No one." "What do you say to people who don't want you to be in their club?" I asked. She fumbled trying to remember, "Oh well, so sad, too bad, I don't like playing with bossy people," we recited together. "Mrs. Cox, I asked Carina and she said we could play together." she said smiling ear to ear. "Okay, B, let's go read." I said.