My daughter was so upset. She wasn’t having fun so it was time to go.
I’m grateful for my daughter because she is smart and kind. She truly knows the difference between right and wrong. I work hard to raise her that way. I’m consistent and honest with her. She, in turn, is being molded into an amazing young person. I couldn’t be more proud. Truly, she’s an awesome kid.
So when her day was being ruined, momma bear was ready to pounce. I have to admit, like many other moms, I’m very passionate when it comes to wrongdoings towards my child. Sometimes a little too passionate. But again, I’ve made a commitment to be open and honest with my children as much as I can. Not only does it ensure trust but not sugar coating things helps them in the long run. Life isn’t all puppies and rainbows and sometimes it’s better to learn that at an early age.
However the flip side of things is very important. As soon as she came up to me upset about something and explained it (in this particular instance, kids were being crazy at an open gym and kept cutting her in line), my first response wasn’t how dare they, it was, so what about you? Are you cutting in line? Are you being assertive? Did you speak up?
I think parenting can be really hard but I feel we can not think our children are perfect angels. No matter how you raise them, you can never assume that they are never in the wrong. Every single time my daughter is upset or hurt, I don’t want to hear who did what. I want to hear how it got to that. So someone pushed you, well, what were you doing before the alleged push occurred (too many screenings of legal shows for me…)? Sometimes she is innocent but other times she’ll tell me the background and there is more to the story. She may have brought on the wrongdoing and is not totally innocent.
Having the right balance of comfort and lesson learning for these situations is really important. You have to show the child that there is a consequence for everything; sometimes good and sometimes bad. Always tell them to think before they speak or act - is that the way you’d want to be treated or talked to?
Honestly, it’s exhausting but really rewarding. We’re at a point now with my daughter, who is six, can pinpoint exactly what happened and why. I no longer have to ask. She’s also incredibly honest. She has never gotten into trouble before but recently she did. I didn’t get a call from the teacher, I didn’t have to. My daughter told me herself; crying hysterically because again she knows the difference between right and wrong and was disappointed in herself. Granted the offense was not all that bad but the whole idea of doing something against the rules at school really did a number on her. Some parents would blame the other kids for peer pressuring their child (which is really what I wanted to do). But I know my child has a mind of her own and I told her that. That can’t be the excuse.
So when she came to me upset about the kids cutting her in line, and ready to go home, she was honest with me about it. And I in turn believed her. We got into the car and she looked at me with this sad yet very mature look on her face asking me, mommy why are those kids so mean.
I was honest with her and told her, some kids are just assholes. She looked at me wide eyed and smiled. I told her not to repeat that (mentally cursing myself for slipping and talking to a six year old like that!).
I followed up with this. I told her she and her brother are very lucky. I said that mommy and daddy care so much about you both that we want to raise you to be good people. That is why we’re very strict with you about being respectful, having manners, and being kind. We drill it into you all the time and punish you when you misbehave.
I told her that some of the kids in there being crazy and being rude maybe don’t have parents like you do. Maybe their parents don’t care if they have manners or are being kind. And isn’t that sad? Don’t all kids deserve to have parents to raise them to be the best they can? So instead of being upset with those kids, be more kind to them. They aren’t getting raised like you are even though they deserve to be. Who knows, maybe a little kindness towards them will have a positive effect on them.
She really liked that answer and I could see her wheels spinning. She smiled and said thank you to me.
Yes, some kids are assholes but mine will not be.