Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Girl

My girl has only suffered slight bullying.  But even slight bullying is unacceptable.  I have had a hard time counseling her on how to perfect her ability to ignore being made fun of or of being dismissed.  Being told that "today you are not my friend," or "today I am only "Jane's" friend, not yours."  It sucks. 
Kids are mean to eachother.  
In theory, these situations should provide me a place to utilize my wisdom. 
Instead I end up having a visceral reaction. 
I want to tell her that they are mean bitches and to tell them to screw.  But in reality, that serves NO purpose. 

We work hard to ensure that our children's self esteem provides a wonderful foundation.  However, inspite of our tending to them, it may not work.  Bullying can take kids down.  It can make you retreat into yourself.  It can turn you into a bully yourself.  We try to guide our children by the way we live and to ensure that we are emotionally available. 

We have not given popularity any importance.  We have emphasized kindness.  As a result she doesn't use popularity to measure her self worth.  She has worth because she is.  
There are no actions that she must perform in order for us, her parents, to provide love to her. 
I believe that while studying why it is that we don't share feelings, I may have stumbled upon the sociology of bullying. 
We are hardwired, from an evolutionary perspective, to protect our most vulnerable body part.  In order to do so we curl over, wear protective gear, etc. 
From a primal perspective, we must lash out before we are attacked. 

But this week, my girl, rose above.  When one of her friend's tripped and fell while getting in line to go from here to there, there was laughter. Merri did not laugh, she ran to her friend's aid.  She helped her up and asked about her welfare. 
Merri shared this story with me on Tuesday morning.  My heart swelled and tears stung my eyes, out of pride.
She is handling herself with grace and dignity of a wonderfully kind, empathetic and generous little girl young lady.

Popularity be damned. 
Kindness will prevail.

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