Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Be Yourself

Miss is my oldest child. At the end of the summer she will be ten years old. I admire Miss for the person that she is. I could have only dreamed to have the kindness, confidence, and sense of self that she has at such a young age.

Miss gets along with everyone. It doesn’t matter the age, she fits herself right in to any group. She has a few little friends in the neighborhood that she goes to visit. One in particular I will call Y.

Miss and Y get along pretty well when they are together. But if you add any of Y’s friends from school into the mix it seems as though they leave Miss out.

They will tell her that we, her parents, are too strict on her. (This happened after I told Miss there was no way she was going to the park with a bunch of nine year olds at 8pm)

Y had a birthday party sleep over this past weekend and invited Miss. I told Miss that no matter what time it was if she wanted to come home just call and I will come get her.

Around two in the morning I get a call from Miss who is crying. She told me that all the girls are sleeping in a bed and are making her sleep on the floor. They were teasing her because I said no to the park trip, and they were whispering to each other about her.

I walked down the street to go get her. We got back to our house and sat on the couch where she cried and told me what had happened. As a mother I was getting upset with these little girls. Miss is a good and kind friend, and for someone to take that for weakness really got my blood boiling.

I asked her, “Did you come home because you wanted to?” She said yes. I was proud of her. Even though she was being ganged up on, and she could lose one of her only friends in the neighborhood. She stood up for herself and left. She could have stayed and took what these girls were giving to her, but she didn’t.

That night we talked about peer pressure. How some people can’t be themselves when other friends are around. I explained to her that some people act how others expect them to rather than how God intended them act.

I told her I was always proud how she never changed who she was no matter whom she was with. I told her that I admired her for that, and she was my role model in that way.

Miss got a big kick out of that, and she started to feel better.

When does the pressure of being the person others expect you to be stop? When situations come up around my adult friends and acquaintances there are times when I feel like a little girl at a sleep over being bullied into behaving a certain way. I will think of Miss in these situations and say and do what I know to be right. If they don’t like me afterwords, then they were never true friends to begin with.


+JMJ+ said...

You're a good mom, what a great opportunity for a teachable moment.

Isn't it sad that girls team up like this? We all remember it.

In fact, I have to wonder...are sleepovers necessary? Kids usually play nicely and then things should come to a natural end. When it starts getting late and people should be sleeping, tiredness usually produces bad behavior and mischeviouness?

The good here is your wonderful conversation with your daughter. But we've put the sleepover on the "not in our family" list as I can not lead my children into temptation and I have yet to see a well-behaved sleepover....instead I see it as parent's giving kids a license to go crazy and feel miserable the next day...like practice for a Frat house or barlife.

I'm so proud of you for going and getting her! And her calling you!

Christine said...

I do not let my kids go to sleepovers. I let them go and then pick them up at a decent hour like 9 or 10pm.

I am a mother bear when other kids are mean to my kids. Why would a kid or kids be so mean? Sometimes kids grow up to be mean people.

I try to tell my kids that. Search out the good people in this world. They are out there!

Ginny said...

It sounds like you said the perfect things to Miss that night. I would have had a hard time explaining things so well.

amy said...

I recently found your blog. I have to say, that was an excellent way to respond. I'm not sure I would have had it that together in the same situation...especially at two in the morning!

SissyMerks said...

You did a great job mom. You helped her to learn a valuable lesson. She is lucky to have a mom like you.

Baby Mama said...

Poor Miss. But that's great that she's strong and stands up for herself. Those other little girls may be in the popular crowd for now but obviously they aren't developing the strong character traits that your daughter has that will stay with her for life.