Saying ‘no’ and walking away

Do you know how devastating it is for a kid when their ‘best’ friend says ‘I don’t want to friend you’?

But this also leads us to a good lesson in the month of January 2019.

A week or two ago, Noelle’s bff (let’s name her W) started ‘asking’ money from Noelle to buy candies! 🙄 Noelle gave in to her – as she didn’t want to lose her friend. W actually said that ‘I don’t want to friend you if you don’t give me money!’ So, for three days, Noelle gave her 50 sen (first day without me knowing until I found out; second and third day because of the statement)!

Though we always taught her to be kind, this form of kindness has been abused. We told her that if W hasn’t have money to buy food like bun or rice, it is ok to ‘borrow’ her money; but not the case if she wants to buy candies Also, W also broke promises – as she told Noelle that she will return her RM1 the next day if Noelle gives her another 50sen.

In relating to us the incident, Noelle was actually in near tears; not because of the money but her friendship.

But we know that this has to stop. It is easier if we choose to approach the kid in school (during recess) or meet up the class teacher or speaking to the bff’s parents (a separate story – I wasn’t in the class WhatsApp group – but went to the extent of getting in after this incident).

We chose to let Noelle handle the situation herself – as she needs to learn how to say ‘no’! This is a stepping stone to not getting into peer pressure (what if in the future she is being asked to buy drugs? She needs to say ‘no’ too!) We will not always be there to assist her especially when she grows older. If we can stop this friend, what if there’s another friend like W?

Besides rejecting her friend’s request by saying ‘no’, we told her to say ‘ok’ and walk away when W says ‘I don’t want to friend you.’ Noelle needed a lot of courage to do so! Aside from constantly reminding her verbally, we also practice it by staging the situation and I put reminders into her recess box!

A lot of relief on my side when she first told me that she said ‘no’ and walked away (I tried not questioning her until she tells me). She related to us that after saying ‘no’ and walking away, W still talks to her. Bingo! So Noelle learnt that saying ‘no’ isn’t that difficult and W still ‘friends’ her after all. I told her that if W really doesn’t friend her because Noelle doesn’t give her money, W will probably end up asking from another person – and if that person doesn’t give, W will ‘unfriend’ again – soon W doesn’t have any friend anymore!

Further than that, to ‘reward’ her bravery to saying ‘no’, we allowed her to spend part of her savings to get something she wants (over the weekend). We limited her to spending RM5 and told her that she could probably get something more expensive or more things if she hasn’t given some of her money to W. It is buying something she wants instead of what W wants. W has to use her own money (instead of Noelle’s) if she wants to buy what she wants.

Walking into this week, Noelle has rejected W requests consistently! Doing more than 3 times definitely means she has passed the phase (we will still remind her, for sure)!

> Still wondering if we should inform W’s parents – but I personally rather not (cos I very lazy to talk to them and don’t want Noelle get into a difficult situation facing the friend). Up till today, W is still asking Noelle for money despite the numerous ‘no’s.

>> Parenting gone another level higher; but I foresee that more challenging phases are ahead.

>>>> thanks for the listening ears as I went through this phase

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