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?