Don’t get me wrong – the school my kids go to is divine, but …
It breaks my heart when I see my children’s feelings getting hurt. I know I am quite a sensitive and emotional person – okay, I’ve been known to cry watching Deal or No Deal!
It upsets me when I hear they haven’t been invited to a certain party or that other kids are being mean to them or teasing them. And I worry about bullying and how to instill resilience and strength of character into my kids so they can be strong in the face of adversity. I try to model appropriate ways of dealing with the ups and downs of primary school antics. But I don’t always get it right.
Today I spoke to my child’s teacher about an incident yesterday and I couldn’t stop the tears from brimming – pretty much as they are now as I write this. Why is that so? It frustrates me that I can be so strong at times, and then turn to marshmallow whenever I feel the hurt of my child.
But what frustrates me more is that children can be so horrible at the ripe old age of 6! In fact, some of them started being mean as early as 4, in kindergarten! Honestly, I would not have believed it, had my child not been a target.
I don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but I am feeling a bit emotional about the whole thing. Maybe it’s me who needs to work on their resilience?! Come to think of it, that’s probably not a bad idea! I took a call at my volunteer position last night that has been playing on my mind. I can’t talk about any of the details, suffice to say it was emotionally manipulative, and I keep wondering how I could have dealt with it differently. My instincts were telling me it wasn’t adding up – I had that gut feeling about the call, but I just couldn’t nail it. It was very frustrating, but also a good learning exercise – listen to your gut reaction. It is usually 100% right!
My gut reaction for my children? Believe in them, love them unconditionally, give clear boundaries, be firm but fair, teach them to laugh at themselves, and probably most importantly, that life is not a popularity contest!
Any other suggestions? How do you help your child deal with mean kids? And how do you stay strong (read- not cry!) when dealing with emotional issues?