Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mean Girls

One of my biggest anxieties about having my kids grow up is watching them get hurt as they face the real world. I just don't know if I'm strong enough to handle watching their little hearts break. It's hard to let them out of their safe protective bubble here at home and send them out into the world knowing that they will eventually get hurt and there's nothing that I can do to prevent it. I hate feeling so helpless. We lucked out last year in kindergarten, Kylie had such a cute class. They were all the best of friends and we never had any issues with teasing, cliques or bullies, which I am very grateful for. This year we weren't so lucky. There was a new girl in Kylie's class and Kylie was cute to go out of her way to help her. A couple of weeks after she told me about this girl I asked her if she still played with her. She got a sad look on her face and said, "no, at recess I asked her and her friend if they wanted to play with us and she told her friend, 'ewww, don't talk to her'". What a brat! There were several other incidences after that but the most recent was this past week when she was so excited to bring in some sea shells that she had found at the beach to show her class. When she came home that day she was obviously hurt and when I asked her what was wrong she told me, with tears in her eyes, that the same girl told her that her seashells were dumb and then she grabbed them and tried to break them. It broke my heart and I was beyond ticked that she keeps singling out my sweet little girl (please excuse my horomonal imbalance as of late :). I've seen this girl (when I sized her up at the lunch table after the first incident) and she looks like she comes from a rough background so I know I should be sympathetic, but I can't help it. I know I should be saying things to Kylie about how she should still be nice to her no matter what, but I can't help it. I know I should stop getting worked up and overreacting about this, but I can't help it. It just hurts me to see her get hurt. I'm having a hard time knowing what to say to Kylie and how to deal with the situation. When I had kids I wasn't prepared for the level of love that would come with raising a child, the way your heart is attached to theirs, or the pain that comes from seeing them hurt. I know this is just the beginning and it scares me to think of the day when the mean comments go beyond just sea shells.

19 comments:

Meredith's Mommy said...

Ugh. I don't know if I would be able to handle that very well either. I've been wondering lately about how to make sure I buoy Meredith's self esteem sufficiently at home as she grows she is strong enough to handle the world. Eww! I would want to march over the school and smack that kid!

Chelsea said...

ohhhh no. That is the saddest thing. I completely understand and it is SO HARD to deal with and how to make it better. Brayden is sensitive too, as are most 5 year olds & he has already had the incident with the CTR ring, kids making fun of it, etc. It is truly heartbreaking. Poor little Kylie. Why, why, why do kids have to be mean!! and yes, what do we do when the real insults start coming?? HARD. The saddest part is that she went out of her way to invite the brat to play with them. Bless her heart. :(

Oh and yes we went straight home after your house instead of the store. He was way too insane today.

Chelsea said...

p.s.
I would talk to her teacher for sure, you probably already have.

Diana said...

darn it!!! how is it that there is such a range of behavior in the same age. i'm enraged and i don't even know kylie. that just goes to show i'm totally in for it in the coming years. and i'm pretty sure it's not your hormonal imbalances that are making you feel so upset about this. anyone would.

Jamie Young said...

yeah, I talked to her teacher and she said that she is definately the "class bully" and has singled out several girls. She said that she's talked to the parents several times, but obviously nothing's changing. Not only do I want to smack the kid, but the parents too!

Jodee said...

I say beat her up, that's right, give her a good smack! What a punk! I am obviously not ready for that, I don't think I will handle it well. Why are kids so mean? Tell Kylie that Madison thinks shells are awesome and wants to see Kylies some day!
Really though, I would make sure you tell Kylie how brave she is for talking to you about it and for not being mean back. And I would tell her that she isn't the only one, that the teacher says that girl is mean to other kids too so that Kylie doesn't feel singled out. Also make sure that Kylie knows you are there to comfort her and figure it out together. Good Luck!

Ann said...

I just recently gave a FHE lesson to my kids about the "pioson darts" other people shoot at us and how the best thing to do is pull them out as quickly as possible so the pioson dosen't get in us. I used the example of Nephi from the scriptures to further illustrate the piont. So now when I ask my kids how school was I always ask them if they had to pull out any darts. It takes the personal sting out of the situation. But hey whatever works for you, good luck!

Ricky and Janessa Cazier said...

That is so sad! Kylie is such a sweetheart. It just breaks my heart (and I'm only her aunt) that she has to deal with that all ready. Give her a big hug for me and remind her how much we love her!

Pays said...

Jamie, I already have anxiety about sending Brayden to kindergarten next year because of this. I just want to shelter my little guy for all that I can. How hard! Seriously, what can you do?Good luck with everything!

marcee said...

Hormonal from pregnancy or not, we ALL feel that way as mothers! I never knew I had such rage inside of me until I first had someone do something to one of my kids. My little Sandee is the sweetest, kindest person who would die before she would ever hurt someone's feelings (just like Kylie). We had the same thing happen when she started first grade. She had a couple of girls that were mean to her throughout the whole year and boy did my claws come out every time she would tell me about it. I wanted so badly to march up to those little snooty brats but I had the sense of mind to realize that I won't always be able to do that for her. So I worked on a lot of dialogue with her- things she could say to defend herself and then basically loved her all up and tried to explain why some kids are so dang mean. Lance calls it the Mama Bear coming out in me. Poor Kylie!!!

Vonda said...

Oh, I wish I could say it gets easier as they get older, but my teenager is going through a real tough "mean friend" issue and its actually even harder, because you know they have been taught and this is how they choose to treat someone. This is where we teach our kids to turn the other cheek, while not loosing thier own identity and spunk. Also, as parents to remember our kids arent perfect and probably do things we would be sad about. Its tough and sometimes consumes my thoughts with worry.

There.... does that help:-)

Suni said...

Oh that is so sad for Kylie! That is one of the things I stress about too, especially with girls! Its so sad how mean kids can be!! And its so hard to know what to do!!

The Ayers Family said...

It's SO sad to think that maybe this girls' parents don't care enough to teach her wrong from right. Actually it's devastating. Most of the time though, these 'bullies' are really just jealous or attention deprived and are lashing out. I wonder how she would react to some special attention in a 'secret friend' sort of way. Kylie could secretly leave her some nice messages or find out where she lives and drop off treats or something? Even though my boys have a while before they'll really understand, we're always trying to teach them as well as remind ourselves to "be the bigger man".

Andrea said...

I love Ann's comments. What a great way to find out what is happening with your kids. Also, helps teach them not to react to the bullies and maybe to ask for help from Heavenly Father.

I'd really push the teacher to resolve the matter. Most schools have anti-bullying policies - and I say stand up for Kylie and make the school stand up behind their policy. School should be a safe place to be.

I feel so bad for her. I definately can relate and it's just so heartbreaking. I think Kylie is always so nice to everyone. I hope things get better.

Cammi said...

Nothing like a bully to bring out Mama Bear! To me, this has been the hardest part of motherhood so far. For what it's worth, I think it is fantastic that she can tell you what is happening, and what her feelings are. She isn't suffering alone. It makes it especially sad when you know what a sweet little girl Kylie is. I like the book by Max Lucado called "You are Special". You've probably at least read it if you don't have it, but it talks about how it doesn't matter what other people think of you or say to you through the example of the little village of people who go around putting stickers on everyone. You just have to not let them stick!

I've gone through this too, but I hear it is so much harder with girls than boys and I see that with my nieces. Good luck. Oh, and one thing that worked when we had a bully situation was the principal calling my son and the other boy into the office and dealing with it - no more problems after that!

Alisa Larson said...

Oh, that is so sad. I don't know how I'm going to handle that either. I know how I stopped an adult sized bully though. My Dad had always told me that people who make fun of you only do it b/c of their own insecurities. So I worked w/a guy who was always saying rude things to me and others. One day I'd had it and said in front of a large crowd, "That's okay, keep being rude, I know you do it because you are so insecure, and if it helps you feel better about yourself go right ahead." Maybe not my most mature moment, but he never bugged me again! The end.

Alisa Larson said...

Oh, that is so sad. I don't know how I'm going to handle that either. I know how I stopped an adult sized bully though. My Dad had always told me that people who make fun of you only do it b/c of their own insecurities. So I worked w/a guy who was always saying rude things to me and others. One day I'd had it and said in front of a large crowd, "That's okay, keep being rude, I know you do it because you are so insecure, and if it helps you feel better about yourself go right ahead." Maybe not my most mature moment, but he never bugged me again! The end.

Nichols Family said...

I wish they were old enough to understand that some kids do this because they are insecure and don't get enough positive attention. Poor Kylie. She's so sweet. I guess, just be glad you're not on the opposite end and you're not the mom of a bully. (My boys were the "park day" bullies when they were young. I still remember Luke biting Tucker on the back and Tyler kicking Carter in the face. I thought Heidi and Renae would hate me forever!) I would probably feel the same way you do where you just want to tell the girl off but obviously we have to keep our cool. So sorry! Parenting is so tough!

Andrea said...

Hey - still just thinking about Kylie. I feel so bad for her. My boys came home from school yesterday and told me some older boys were teasing Max. Tyler was so cute and told them to stop picking on his brother.
This morning I got a "Parent Center" email about "teasing". There is also a link to what to do about a bully - and a lot of parents weighed in on the issue. Thought it could help - Knowledge is power, right?
http://parentcenter.babycenter.com/0_teasing-how-to-nip-it-in-the-bud_67710.pc