The other day my daughter came out of the school bus looking upset and not her usual smiling self. I immediately asked her what was wrong and if she wanted to talk about it. She shook her head and crawled into backseat of the SUV onto her booster seat and buckled her seat belt, remaining quiet and zoned out. The short drive home was quiet; I peeked at her from the rear view mirror at a stop light and noticed her staring out her window, wiping some tears from her eyes. Her little brother was attempting to chat with her like he normally does when he excitedly sees her sister after being away from her for a few hours and normally she would respond back equally enthusiastically with non-stop chatter, but not this time.
When we got home, she immediately went to her room and shut the door. I left her alone to allow her to let whatever was bothering her settle down. I cut up some fruits for my son to snack on before cleaning the kitchen sink and getting dinner prepped. After an hour, she came down the stairs with her pencil case and homework papers and sat on the dining table to start her homework (which was typically what was done before dinner each day). BUT the fact that I didn’t have to badger her to get started on it and she decided to start it on her own proved there was something definitely wrong.
I placed a plate of snacks in front of her on the table and sat next to her.
“How’s your homework going? Did you need some help with anything?” I said glancing down at her sheet of homework paper.
Instead of homework, she was actually drawing something on a blank sheet of paper of what looked like kids playing with one kid left out on the side.
Didn’t take much for me to figure out what may be the reason for my sad little girl.
I swept some hair off her face and tucked it behind her ear.
“No I don’t have any homework today,” she replied turning her paper over, getting off her chair and bringing her plate of snacks to the family room couch.
I followed her into the family room (obvs) and plopped down next to her on the couch.
“Do you want to watch a movie?” I said excitedly with a big grin.
“Okay, sweetie. What’s up? You can tell me.”
She finally opened up about her day. Fighting back tears, she told me that she lost her two close friends because they made her choose between them for two different activities during recess and she couldn’t choose so they dropped her and ended up playing with one another leaving her out.
This sounds so familiar!
I switched on Netflix and turned to Full House’s Episode 21 in Season 7 – Be Your Best Friend.
In this episode, Michelle finds herself in trouble when she is forced to choose between friends, Teddy and Denise. They both leave her behind to befriend one another. Michelle then realizes that it’s okay to have two best friends and all three form a brighter union.
Friendships are definitely a tricky yet precious commodity and learning to appreciate them and the ones that cherish yours back is invaluable.
Netflix definitely saved the day here. My kids are not always allowed a lot of screen/TV time but I acknowledge and welcome programming and movies that not only teach my children educational lessons but ones that also teach them about life and everything around it. Sometimes kids prefer to learn these lessons from a favourite TV show than a misinformed and unseasoned buddy or, in their eyes, a nosy parent. It also opens the door for more conversation between parent and child.
Check out these other great episodes to help with battling a few of life’s not-so-great moments in childhood.
For the little kids:
Watch Ep. S1E1: Babee’s Room
Buzzabee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and dad must explain to Buzzabee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.
Watch Ep. S1E1: Puppies & Guppies/Sorry We’re Closed Today
Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies, but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
Following the Rules
Watch Ep. S1E6: Stormy Weather/ Baba’s Adventure/ Rock Music
Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms
For the big kids:
Watch Ep. S1E13: Star
After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth — but fails — showing her that her presence alone has lit up her friends’ lives all along.
Watch Ep. S1E3: Smart is the New Cool
After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.
Watch Ep. S1E6: The Legend of El Explosivo
After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friend.
For the teens:
Actions Have Consequences
Watch Ep. S1E1&2: Pilot & Consequently
Brandon finds himself in a dangerous situation when trying to help Callie (his new foster sister) find her brother — learning that his actions can result in unexpected consequences.
Watch Ep. S1E4: Kimmy Goes to the Doctor!
Kimmy quickly realizes that she can’t fix her problems by simply “Buhbreezing” them away — real change comes from the inside.
Watch Ep. S1E16: Home
After Sue demands that Mercedes lose weight, Quinn steps in to change her mindset and together they set the stage for beauty at William McKinley High, teaching the importance of empowerment and inclusion.