Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wiser Than Her Years

I have a wonderful daughter who will be turning nine at the end of next month. She attends a small Catholic school and is in the third grade. She has fantastic grades and is active in her school community. The teachers and adults in her school have nothing but nice things to say about her. She has a variety of interests, such as animals, the weather and cooking, and has an amazing vocabulary.

We had problems this past October with other kids picking on her. I tried to coach her to be more assertive and to tell the other kids that what they are doing and saying is mean. She will not say anything because she is afraid she will get in trouble. I assured her that she has her parents support and that she is not going to get into any trouble by standing up for herself. She has often told me “Mommy, I am a clique of one”. Yes, she said clique. I was floored to find out that cliques formed sometime during first grade.

Last night she had tambourine dance practice. When we walked into the cafeteria one of the girls looked at us and said “Shhh, she is coming”. We were the only people in the area. The girls quickly stopped talking. As we sat down at the table, I looked at my daughter and said “Shhh, she is coming”. The girl who made the comment looked embarrassed and the other girls were surprised. My daughter looked at me funny and I said, “I think the girls were talking about you and someone warned the others that you were coming”. Ok, maybe I should not have said that in front of the all the girls. Maybe I should not have been so blunt. Maybe it should not bother me. However, I did say it, and I can be blunt when necessary and it does bother me.

On the way home, I talked to my daughter about what happened. To be honest, I do not think she heard the girl warning the others. These are the same girls in her Brownie troop. My daughter has been asking to go camping with the group and has requested that I come along. I have been working on filling out all the necessary paperwork and reference checks. I said to her “Are you sure that you want to go camping with this group?” She responded, “Mommy, I am not going to let anyone ruin a fun time that I could have with you.”

Enough said.


Steve said...

Good for you! I have a 12 year old son who has introvert tendencies and can have anxiety. I would have said the same thing, and then wondered later if I should have! Anything to get "mental access" to the other girls is all we try to do as parents. Just watch out if they "twist" the story to their parents and you get a talkin' to!

Nonblond said...

Good for you and good for her. Best of luck to you both as you work through these difficult years. Kids can be so mean...

somaserious said...

Ugh, girls. They can really, if I may be so blunt, suck. You definitely did the right thing by saying the same thing within earshot. That type of behavior hurts so deeply, I know, I was the brunt of it in elementary and junior high school. Sounds like your daughter has a good grip on the situation. Have fun!

Hack Shaft said...

I have an 11-year old who is in the same exact situation. When the bullying at school got physical, that crossed the line and things were nipped in the bud by a very attentive and understanding principal.

My wish for my child is not that she will develop physical skills in Karate, but that she will begin to carry herself with self-confidence and avoid the need for self-defense in the first place.

Michele said...

Thanks for the supportive comments.

Steve: Good news ... I have not got in trouble yet with the other parents. If I remember correctly, there was at least one parent in earshot.

Nonblond: I agree ... kids can be mean.

Somaserious: Girls ...I know. I hope that my daughter keeps her good perspective. Sometimes I think I get more upset that she does.

Hack Shaft: I think that is a great wish for your daughter.

On a good note, one of the girls from the Brownie troop invited her for a "play date" this week.