Wednesday, May 12, 2010

life lessons

Since we are nearing the end of my oldest child's year in kindergarten I have some thoughts about it all. Many I will keep to myself. Others I will not. A few issues have happened this year in which I really did not expect. I mean, I knew eventually friendship dynamics and drama would start, but for some reason I did not think it would happen this early.

Well, it does.

An occurrence took place the other day in which Julia's "friend" violated her space and in a nutshell bullied her. I will not go into detail, but I was a little taken a back by what happened.

Here is the amazing part, though. Julia took me aside that night (she did not want to tell James what happened) and told me everything. She started the conversation with, "I did not get in trouble so do not worry." Next she told me all the sordid details in a matter of fact manner. No tears at all, none at school. During the incident, after she broke free, and had a chance she told the recess teacher who then "benched" the other kid. The recess teacher told Julia's teacher who then made sure she was okay. When school was over, Julia, walked right up to the other girls mother, in front of the other girl, and told her exactly what she did to Julia. The mother told Julia it would never happen again. No fear whatsoever.

I praised Julia for her strength and for doing the right thing. I am amazed how mature she is sometimes and her choice to tell the other parent herself is cool. I am so happy she told a grownup what happened and that she spoke to me about the incident. We had a great heart-to-heart and let's face it, this is a teaching moment that helps set the way for how she handles future incidents. I am so grateful she did not decide to "live in fear" or "hold it in" and not talk about it so it could eat away at her. I made sure she understands that nobody has the right to do what they did to her and it is important to stand up for yourself. I also told her that this is real life and she will always encounter bullies even as an adult. It is better she learns how to deal with this now. She was happy to hear the reassurance from me and her teacher and the other mother.
On a side note, she said something so interesting to me, "mom, I prayed to God that he would make the bullies nice and it did not work." I let her know that somewhere a mean kid probably did the right thing, but a different prayer is to ask God to give you the strength to stand up to mean kids, do the right thing, and help others when they are bullied." She really listened. I also told her not to be mean to the other kid, but just tell her you do not want a friend who does not treat her kindly. Be a leader! Yes, school is for academics, but I also think it is for finding your place in this world, as a team player, and an individual.

The next day, I asked her who she played with and it was the same kid amongst others. It is kindergarten after all, forgiveness flows freely and an "I'm sorry" makes it all better and they move on past their issues pretty fast. Funny.

On a side note, I love, love, love her teacher. She is smart and strong and a wonderful teacher and guide for little miss J. The teacher and parental support in her class is terrific and we are hoping she is in her class next year, too.

Oh, if you know my daughter, do not mention this to her since she proably will get mad at me for talking about her. :) That starts early, too.

1 comment:

khilts4 said...

Three cheers for Julia! AND for mom and dad.....great role models!!