With motherhood comes peoples opinions, advice, and what they know to be true.
Some things you take to heart and watch out for, and others you sweep under the rug.
One thing I’ve heard on repeat since Landyn started preschool is that bullying starts young.
And for the past year and a half it hasn’t become an issue, until recently.
I’ve read up on what it takes to raise a daughter. I know about fostering self esteem and giving them the proper armor to deal with life. I know about mean girls. But when your four year old tells you at bedtime that kids are calling her ugly and that they don’t want to be her friend, your momma bear defenses kick in.
I was painfully shy in elementary school. I clung to the same friends and didn’t have the self esteem to go out and meet new friends. I’ve been there. I know the anxiety of sitting alone at lunch or friends backstabbing you. I know how to fake sick so I don’t have to give an oral presentation or go without lunch because I was too shy to tell my teacher that I forgot my lunch. I remember these feelings like it was yesterday. They are still very real for me.
Nothing can prepare you for the day you hear this from your 4 1/2 year old though. Every bit of wisdom you’ve ever been given immediately goes down the drain. All I knew to do was kiss her head and tell her she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. Because to me she is.
We went on to talk about how that made her feel and how she should respond to that girl with her feelings. We have to empower our children. Landyn knows she should walk away and pick other kids to play with. We’ve talked about teachers being her safe zone when she’s at school at mommy isn’t there.
Now don’t get me wrong, Landyn thrives in school. She participates in class and has a group of friends that she just adores. There just always will be those mean kids. They are everywhere.
Growing up, I always despised those “tattle tale moms”. You know, the ones that ran to the teacher every time something went wrong for their child. But the thing is when you become a mom and are wearing your heart outside your body, instinct kicks in and you will do whatever it takes to protect your kid. I was that mom last week. My intent wasn’t to tattle, but rather inform. There is a difference.
As much as I want to teach Landyn about conflict resolution and prepare her for bullying, I want her to know that there is so much good in the world. I’ve raised my daughter to be gentle and loving and I want to empower her to encounter gentle souls just like her. I want her to know community and friendship. Women should build each other up, encourage, and relate to one another. I’ve been blessed with a couple beautiful friendships in my life that I cling to tight. Two girls in particular play an important part of who I am.
photo credit: Bows and Arrow Photography
I always love your feedback. Has anyone else experienced bullying with their kids? How did you handle it?
Shirley says02.28.14 at 12:24 am
Oh honey I am sorry you have to go through this. I have no idea how to handle this. Just make sure you keep the channel open so that she will always feel safe to share with you. As long as she has some great friends she will be okay, just continue to resure her of who she is and that she is loved by so many. I know it is tough to sit and see someone pick on your little one but she will find a way to work it out as long as she stays strong and that happens with your love and support. What ever you do be sure not to let your feelings show. Wait and see if things will work out. Go to the library see what you can find on her level, maybe a video to help her. If it goes on and she is really depressed, go to the teacher. Let me know how it works out.
Lindsey says02.28.14 at 9:43 am
OMG, this blog post speaks to me like none other. I have a 5 1/2 year old kindergartener (boy) and this is EXACTLY what my week has been. I followed your blog a long time ago and I honestly haven’t even logged into blogger for over a year, but for some reason I did today, and saw this on my feed. Maybe its a sign from God that I am not alone in my feelings as a mom dealing with this. This is so what I needed. Thank you. I relate to your feelings so much. Its the hardest thing I have had to deal with as a mommy so far. It sounds like you handled it beautifully. Hang in there. Keep advocating for your beautiful girl. Life is tough but we have to teach them the tools to deal with it. I hope it gets better for your girl. BIG HUGS.
Nicole Matteson says03.01.14 at 8:11 am
I can so relate on these Momma bear feelings. I haven’t had to deal with it with my 5 year old until this past week when she came home and said that a boy called her stupid. I immediately wanted to go give that boy a piece of my mind! Keeping in mind that this boy has been her best friend since beginning of school, I told her that he was probably trying to be funny, but it’s not funny to call our friends names. She said “Well, I told him that I am NOT stupid, but it still hurt my feelings.” I wanted to take it all away from her – I am so not ready to see my little girl go through these hurtful school days! But you’re right, we need to keep building them up at home so they know that some name calling doesn’t mean anything! God made them perfect – and nothing can take that away! 🙂
Jesse @ goodgirlgoneglad says03.03.14 at 2:23 pm
Breaks my heart to think of other girls saying things like that to sweet Landyn! I was much the same way as you. It’s sad to think that parents don’t teach their littles how to treat other children. Sometimes I think that they are just mirroring the example set by their parents. Sad all the way around. Hugs to you and Landyn!