“These girls are just not getting along. I think at one point each one has felt left-out or bullied. I don’t know how to help them!” worried a new first-grade teacher.
“Teacher, they won’t let me play with them.”
“They ran away when I came to play.”
“I don’t have anyone to play with.” These are comments heard after recess.
On a little different note, Tara told me, “I feel like a hot dog in a bun!” because there were two other girls who were always grabbing onto her and both wanted to be with Tara all the time. Competition, jealousy, and girl drama entered in this scenario.
We recently had a meeting of teachers to discuss how we can help these children to get along and be friends. I will share some of our ideas.
Sometimes we might need to forbid children from being together. My two boys who are conspiring and always together to the exclusion of other children, are not allowed to sit together or be in line beside each other.
One time I had two students who had each told me that they didn’t have any friends. I hooked them up by seating them together, encouraging each to talk with the other, and finding commonalities for them, and soon they were friends.
Pray for wisdom for yourself and ask God to give ideas and ways to work with the children. Be a model of caring and compassion and including all children.Pray for and with the children. One year when there was a lot of girl drama we had prayed about it, and then after recess some of the girls told me that they had a prayer meeting at recess and prayed that everyone would get along!
Teach the children about love and friendship and being kind. This morning I am presenting a devotions lesson to two classes. We will discuss being kind, including others, and using our words to build up and encourage others. I will begin with “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” and display some sticks and stones. We’ll talk about how sticks and stones really can hurt us, but is it true that words will never hurt us? Words may not hurt us physically, but they can hurt our hearts. Verses to use: Eph. 4:32, Psalms 19:14. I also use a lesson on “wrinkled hearts” (See my “Bursts of Teaching Ideas” post).