On a recent vacation, I was with my ten year old granddaughter Julie, who, within hours of meeting them, made two fast friends her own age. A couple of days later, the three new “best” friends were discussing their afternoon plans, when, within minutes, the other two girls were arguing. One felt the other was trying to control the situation and force her choices on the other two. The one ended up running to her mother, crying, while the other sulked in a corner.
Julie stood there in shock at what had just happened.
She came over to me to relate this incident. She felt very sad that the communication had broken down and that her trio had separated, leaving her without “either friend” to play with. She told me that she wanted to help them reconcile but that if she spoke to one first, the other would think that she liked her better and would be upset. What could she do?
We discussed various ways she might handle the situation and mapped out a little plan together whereas she would not discuss any of the issues at stake without both girls present, but that she would express her concern and ask them if they were willing to come together to talk things out. As I watched, Julie ran from one to the other and after a couple of visits to each of them, she managed to “bring them to the table.”
Julie mediated the reconciliation between the girls and all three of them ended up taking turns and happily playing all the games that each had proposed.
What do you think? A mediator in the making?
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