There is so much in motherhood I was not prepared for. Baby books only cover the basics of keeping your child alive, everything else you can forget about. No preparation for handling your child being bullied. No preparation for your child losing a pet or a loved one. No preparation for your child hitting puberty and becoming a teenageer. No preparation for the never ending heartache you feel as a mom when you realize there’s only so much you can do to prepare your child for the cruelness of the world. There is literally a million things no baby book talks about or another parent gives you advice on. There’s so much to learn along the way that you never know if you are handling a situation right until something happens and you know you handled it right. This blog is exactly that.
Earlier this week my daughter’s friend James* approached her and said he had a secret he wanted to tell her. He wanted to talk to her in private because she is the only one he trusts. Of course her being her and an average 8 year old was intrigued. She couldn’t think of what it could be. Did James have a crush on someone? Did he secretly pick his nose? What could it possibly be? The next day they were ready to talk. James told my daughter he hasn’t been feeling good about himself. He feels like he doesn’t have any friends anymore. He’s getting bullied by Sarah* and he doesn’t know what to do. He wanted her advice on what to do because he knows she too was bullied by Sarah for the last 2 years. She looked at him and said, “Listen James, you have to kill her with kindness. That’s what my mom always says.” My daughter gave the best advice she knew, what I’ve always told her.
I couldn’t have been any prouder hearing this. What a truly amazing child I’ve raised. This is where I know I did something right. After years of constantly repeating myself to pump up my daughter to help her deal with her bully and feeling like she wasn’t hearing me, she was and she just proved it. I’m so proud of her and how well she handled the situation. She could’ve told James anything to help him, but she chose the one thing she felt would help him because it helped her. Me being me and with how much I’m involved in the school did go talk to the teacher to make her aware of the situation. If I would have known 2 years ago when I first started volunteering that I’d care so much about these children, I probably wouldn’t volunteer. I have such a soft spot for them and their wellbeing. Knowing James I couldn’t let him feel the way my daughter felt the last 2 years. I had to do something.
My daughter listened. She took what advice I gave her and used it to help someone else. She is the most amazing person I’ve ever met. She makes me want to be a better person. Children are sponges. They are hearing what you’re saying and teaching. Even when it feels like you are repeating yourself to a brick wall, I promise you they are hearing you. You are getting through to them. Never stop repeating the things they need to hear when they need to hear them. You never know who you could be helping. The amazing thing about children is the way they help each other and the impact it can have on their lives. As for me, any self doubt I had in my parenting choices were just thrown out the window because I must be doing something right to have such a phenomenal child.
*Indicates the names have been changed to protect their privacy.