Raising INVINCIBLE little girls.
Little girls can be ruthless. But then so can women. There isn’t a lot that some females will not do in order to gain an advantage or secure something they desire. Whether this be material, social or personal. Hell, some just do it for fun.
They say envy is a woman who sees something belonging to another and wishes it for herself. But that ‘jealousy’ is a woman who sees something belonging to another and ‘Hates’ that person simply for having it. Jealousy is pathological and sometimes, pretty damn dangerous.
I personally feel that these behaviours are learned young and if not corrected, breed into the culture of competition and self deprecation that so many women I know are consumed by. It’s pretty gross really.
After many years of abuses and betrayals, I now waste little to no time ‘cleaning house’ when faced with toxic friendships, jealousy and any form of ill will. Some think that cutting out toxicity without warning is dramatic or unnecessary. That it’s symptomatic of being a drama queen.
The reality is that I simply don’t have the time for it.
Unfortunately my little girl does not share this mentality. E had her heart hurt very badly, very young. But I believe that it is thanks to this that she has grown into a beautiful little empath. E has no desire to hurt anyone else, even those who hurt her.
Ive worked exceptionally hard over the years to ensure that she is not hardened by her experiences of domestic violence. That she remains trusting (to an extent), that she is kind, open and freely interacts with other personalities, no matter how they may differ from her own.
As much as it pains me to say it, for some reason E gets bullied ALOT. Why? Only god knows. She’s pretty, sweet, kind and inclusive. I’m certainly biased, but I know my child and she has the very best heart.
Much of this bullying I believe is thanks to the Early Childhood Trauma she sustained in her infancy. It’s due to this trauma that E has developed an inherent ‘people pleasing’ mentality. Meaning that no matter how badly she is treated, E will always assume the role of ‘peacemaker’.
E will always be the one to fall on the sword and accept unnecessary blame in an attempt to avoid the mistreatment. She does her best to please her attacker rather than confront or avoid them. She wants them to ‘like her’.
Almost every other day my girl has a story.
A few weeks ago she was choked to a bathroom floor. Choked, with two hands around her throat until she fell to the floor. This for trying to turn the light back on after another kinder child had turned it off as a prank.
An attack witnessed by numerous other little girls, one of whom had to run for help. Did I say ‘kindergarten’?
E has been struggling with her ‘brownness’ after some comments at school. E being half Lebanese , she has a permanent tan most grown woman would give their left leg for. But some little girls apparently find it offensive and due to this E has recently declared that she is ‘white like mummy’ and that the twins will be too. (She’s in for a bit of a shock when her half Filipino sisters arrive).
Yesterday E came home with a puncture mark and bruise on her hand. E only told me about this after Id hurt her hand trying to hold it in the school car park. A child had stabbed her full force with a pencil because she had leant on that child’s desk.
Today she was upset that a group of girls were all given stickers and invited to play in a secret club. But she wasn’t ‘allowed’ to play as the child handing out the stickers necessary to the game had refused to give her one.
E later justified this child’s behaviour by saying, “in the end I was allowed to play mum, so that’s ok, but I still didn’t get a sticker like the other kids”.
So in other words she was granted permission to play, but this permission was conditional and instead of being able to identify the nastiness, my child was simply grateful for the eventual inclusion regardless of the conditions attached.
E doesn’t have my fiercely independent ‘I don’t need you or your stickers’ nature and that’s ok. But it hurts like hell as her mother.
These are just a few of the ‘kindergarten’ stories Casper and I sit in fury and listen to on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, some days are great, but those that aren’t are just about worth homeschooling for.
There are only so many times you can be ‘that complaining parent’. There are only so many times you can tell your child to avoid the mean girls before they simply accept it as a fact of life and stop complaining to you.
School is an integral part of learning conflict resolution. There were many mean girls who thickened my skin. But I also had three little sisters to stand up for and growing up in one of Canberra’s rougher schools at the time with that responsibility, left me with a chip on my shoulder.
I don’t want E to carry a chip, but I certainly don’t want her to remain the victim either.
The point I guess is to never assume that your child isn’t capable of bullying. E is reminded on a daily basis just how much trouble she will be in if I ever find out that she has been mean, dishonest, steals from or treats another child cruelly. She will be reminded of this as an adult to.
I don’t believe my daughter has a cruel bone in her body. But it’s still my responsibility to ensure she knows right and wrong and that she hears this from my mouth whether necessary or not.
We cannot always control our kids behaviour. Sometimes even our best isn’t good enough. But simply disregarding the possibility that our kid could be the bully or ‘mean girl’ leaves a lot of room for the seed to grow.
There is a huge difference in being the person who staunchly refuses to take anyones rubbish and being the one who is always dishing it out.
Our kids attitudes are our responsibility.