After daycare hours, should I let my kid play out his anger toward another child in my care in his drawings, imaginary play, etc.?
The obvious answer is yes... however, his anger is based on wrong thinking. He claims the boy is mean to him and bossy, when actually it's MY kid that's mean and bossy. I see it everyday, I'm not just being hard on him.
Part of me wants to let him cry and moan and scream and tell stories about how he is going to make the other boy sad (in various ways, none of which are brutal at all).... But I find myself instead trying to talk it out with him and give him examples of all the ways the kid is actually very kind to him. Truly, this boy just wants to be Tommy's friend and Tommy is determined to be ticked off at him whenever possible. It's a source of extreme frustration around here because there are at least a half dozen battles everyday based on Tommy freaking out over some very small (perceived) slight on the other child's part.
Granted, I understand there is SOME reason for his thinking. He's not just "being" this way. He feels threatened by another alpha male (the kid does have some skills that Tommy lacks, despite being younger and not yet in Kindergarten). So, Tom wants to be sure his place is secure, blah, blah, blah. But let's get real. This boy goes home every day by 5:00. Tommy stays here and gets me the rest of the time. And right now, I feel like I'm raising a kid whose greatest skill is holding grudges.
Tonight he had art "homework"... he was supposed to draw a picture of his favorite person. He started drawing this child (yay! a breakthrough!) but then put on his "mean" voice and said, "And he's very sad because I won and he lost." I said no. That was not an acceptable picture for the assignment. He was annoyed for sure but went on to draw a picture of himself winning a race. He drew a smaller picture of the "loser" (the other kid, of course) and when I wouldn't let him put a frown on that one either, he made it into a smile. Grudgingly. Finally (much later in the evening) he drew a third person and said, "And we don't know him so he can come in last place and he can be sad."
Okay, I let that one go. Pretty clever, I thought.
So.... what do I do with this misplaced anger? Seriously! Help me out!