My little girls are starting kindergarten and third grade in two weeks. Be still my heart. I watch all the back to school commercials, with the break dancing and the super cool clothes and I get stressed out. Will my girls have the "right" kind of clothes? Will they be made fun of because they don't have the coolest spangly shoes? I worry so hard about bullying and I feel sick to my stomach because I don't know what to do.
When Peanut was in kindergarten she told me about a little girl who was mean to her. I almost told her "Well punch them in the head." I stopped myself. It's hard to explain to a small person about the mind of a bully. That they are probably jealous for some reason, or they are bullied at home and think that is the appropriate social order. Or they see you as weak, especially when you let it get to you. You become an easy target. The playground is a lot more primal then we adults really see. (But so is the work place if you really think about it)
My heart aches thinking of my daughters being told they aren't good enough.You hear about all these teens killing themselves over bullying, or getting killed by a bully. I feel helpless. I know that I was bullied and I turned out okay. But when we were kids you didn't hear about kids committing suicide because of it.
I also don't expect them to have a super rainbow unicorn school experience. Conflict resolution and how to deal with negative people are important life skills for them to learn. I also want them to love themselves for who they are. I want them to know that their differences are what make them so freaking awesome.
But, I feel helpless and terrified because all the books say, just make sure your kids feel comfortable talking to you about things and that you build them up enough that they don't feel hopeless when someone is cruel to them. That they know that you are there if they need you.
Well yeah, but I remember being a teenager. Adults couldn't possibly understand what I was going through. Of course they thought I was smart and beautiful. They had to! They were my parents! No matter how much I praise my girls and make sure they know they are special and I am here, what if it doesn't work?
I know they are little, but "mean girls" start early. And I guess all I can do is keep asking them what they are doing and how their day at school was and try and help them through it. All I can do is swallow my terror and know that I am not helpless. As much as I may feel like I am. I am here for them and I will not ignore the signs of depression or unhappiness, even if they think I'm just being a lame meddlesome adult.
Were you or your children bullied? Any Advice?