Friday, March 24, 2017

SMM: Being Bullied in First Grade

My latest piece for Suburban Misfit Mom was published recently. Though I wrote this a few weeks back, it brings back lots of emotions.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Some Kids are Assholes

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.

Friday, January 20, 2017

1st Grade Conversations: Hair

This morning with my six year:

Me: Today it's gym, right? What do you want in your hair?

Lyla: Plain ponytail.

Me: That's so boring. Really?

Lyla: Yes! Just a plain ponytail!

Me: Oooh! Can I do pigtail buns in your hair today?!

Lyla: No. I don't like buns. Ever.

Me: But pigtail buns are SO much fun! I love pigtail buns. Please? Can I?

Lyla: But it's my hair so, no.

Me: Fair point. Well played...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SMM: Six Stages of Exercise with a Toddler

Acceptance. You turn on the TV to start searching for that evil Jillian Michael’s workout and your toddler’s eyes light up! He runs to the couch with all three of his blankies, sits down as close as he can to you, and his smile lights up the whole world. He is so excited to watch TV with you!

Read the rest here!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

I’m Turning into My Mother... And That’s Okay

I was about to embark on my first ever sleepover field trip with my class. We were heading down to Washington DC on the traditional 8th grade trip. That year, jelly shoes were all the rage. All I wanted was a pair of clear jelly shoes to wear on my 8th grade trip to DC.

The day before we were to leave, my mom took me to every store imaginable to find them. We kept striking out and then on a whim we went to Lord & Taylor at the mall. A store we could never afford but nevertheless this was important. There were the jelly shoes, in all their glory and in my size. My mom bought them of course; the cost didn’t matter. She wanted me to have them but not because she wanted to spoil me or because she wanted to give me everything I wanted. She bought them for me because she is that kind of person. The kind of person who would move heaven and earth to make someone happy. The kind of person who goes out of their way, taking shirts off their back to put a smile on someone else’s face.

I find myself looking at my life as a spectator lately. I’m standing at the forefront of a situation watching my interactions wondering what kind of person I am. It’s the strangest feeling to be in the audience of your life.
My mom & me

There is an older woman walking down the street every day. I drive by every day and each day I find myself waving at her. She is so adorable and so dedicated to walking with her cane and trendy glasses. I watch myself waving and smiling at her every day and think, that’s my mom.

I’m in the grocery store and there is an older man waiting at the deli counter with me. He looks over at me as I take my cheese from the man.  He tells me he loves cheese. I can tell he wants to chat and despite being in a crazy hurry I chat with him about cheese, smile, laugh, and as I leave telling him to have a great day. I watch over this interaction realizing, that’s my mom.

There is a young girl trying to get into the music store with her big guitar case. I run across the store and open the door for her calling her sweetie. I can see this happening. I can see my mom.

Every girl in my daughter’s gymnastics class got a brand new gym branded leotard except one girl. There was one left and I was standing right there as the girl quietly asked her mom if she could have it. Her mom wondered how much it was and said she’d think about it. I nearly spoke up saying I would buy it for her. I don’t have extra money for that but the mere thought of her daughter missing out made my heart ache. I wanted to buy it and almost did. I stand by watching myself aching wanting to buy it while stressing about my own bills. That is my mom.

There is a new girl at my daughter’s school in her grade. On the field trip I see little, beautiful girl standing by the teacher rather than other kids. She wants to hold the teacher’s hand as if she doesn’t have other friends. I pulled my daughter aside and told her to be friendly with her and include her. I tell her every day now to do something nice for someone. I see this happening between me and my daughter. I see me and my mom.

It’s wear your favorite team shirt day at school but my daughter doesn’t follow anything but gymnastics. She wants a Simone Biles shirt to wear. I can’t find one anywhere. It’s 11 p.m. the night before as I make her a Simone Biles shirt to wear the next day. She wakes up so excited and grateful. I stand by and watch over knowing it’s my mom.

I’m watching myself turn into my mother. I’m not meaning to but I can’t help myself. My whole life I was taught by watching her; one selfless act after another. Now every situation I watch myself doing exactly what she would do. I’m turning into my mother and that’s okay. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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