Thursday, August 2, 2007

What if....Girls Understood the Meaning of Respect?

Today, my youngest daughter Hannah, was at a neighborhood daycamp. When I came to pick her up, she was hanging out with three other girls. One girl in particular, seemed to be the 'ring leader' who lead the taunting towards Hannah because of a water bottle incident that seemed to be taken care of by one of the camp leaders earlier. When these girls told me the story of what happened, I had Hannah apologize to the ring leader for what she did. The 'ring leader' wouldn't accept her apology and was whispering things to one of the other girls. I went on to say that it would be a better time for everyone if they all tried to get along, instead of bullying each other.

Hannah and I walked away and I said to her "Hannah, you don't have to hang out with girls who aren't nice to you." Courtney, the 'ring leader' heard me and actually gave me some lip about what I said. I think she thought she could get away with talking back to me (although I wasn't addressing her), because as I walked back to these three girls, Courtney scurried away behind a tree. I casually addressed all three girls and asked if they'd enjoy being bullied. No one answered. I left saying that more effort should go into getting along, rather than being mean.

As we drove away, I asked more details from Hannah about the water bottle incident. She told me that Courtney called her stupid. I quickly turned the car around and drove back to the camp. By that point, all the camp leaders were around the girls and Courtney was hiding away. One of the camp leaders asked if there was a problem and I said there was. I let them know of the name calling (I guess Courtney is a bit of a trouble maker) and said name calling is unacceptable. The camp leader let me know what she had Hannah do to rectify the water bottle incident and I told them I had her apologize to Courtney.

I walked away with my blood boiling from a 5 year-old girl! She showed how she doesn't respect authority figures and feels obliged to bully other kids. I'm amazed at how early these girls are learning to bully others. All I could do was pray that Courtney would have a positive environment to teach her what love and respect for self and others could really do.


Randee said...

Oh, Lynn. I hear you, Sister. I really do.

I remember when Olivia turned 5. We hosted a tea party to celebrate her birthday. I went to great pains to make it "perfect". We had hats, pearls, gloves...the works for each little girl.

We weren't 15 minutes into the party when the little girls (Keep in mind...they were 5!) began snickering and whispering. The target? A beautiful, lovely, shy little girl.

I called Olivia into the bedroom and asked her what they were saying. She told me of their antics and I was mortified. They were 5!

Catty little girls often make catty women. What is it about this particular "female factor"?

I can tell yout that I have never experienced anything close with my boys. Hmmm...

Kudos for addressing the situation directly. I'm not sure how I would have handled it.

lifecoachlynn said...

Thanks for the comraderie Randee. I know this happens often, but I guess I'm extra sensitive with Hannah because 1) She's my youngest sweetie and 2)I'm extra protective of her because of her past heart surgeries. I'm a momma hen when it comes to my girls.
I remember how hurtful growing up was for me-I wish we could skip over the yucky parts with our kids!

Randee said...

I remember one time when I was young, my mother came to my defense in a similar situation. (Only I don't think she was as calm as you probably were :)

I was embarassed and I told her afterwards. I thought I could take care of myself. That I didn't need her protection. (I was much older than Hannah and thought I knew everything.)

But, I never forget the words she spoke to me. They were simple words: I will always protect you if I am able. Always.

The fierceness of her devotion to my protection has touched me through my entire life. My mother made mistakes (as I make mistakes) but I never doubted her fierce loyalty to my sister and me.

You did a great thing for your daughter today. Hannah was protected by her mother and I bet...she'll never forget.

Anne said...

Oh wow Randee: " I will always protect you if I am able. Always."

As a mother, that brought tears to my eyes. Lynn, I'm so sorry that you had that unfortunate incident. It makes me wonder about that girl's home life. Does she have a big sister who picks on her? How wonderful for Hannah that she has the kind of mom that she does!

lifecoachlynn said...

thank you ladies. I thought childhood was tough-Motherhood is tougher! Like your mom Randee, I have a fierce loyalty to my girls to always protect them the best way I can. I guess I'm praying my way to be the mom I only wish I had growing up.
I see how Hannah could use a little confidence booster along with the spiritual instruction. So, I'm enrolling her in karate in the fall to help build her confidence and be able to focus better. And, as an added bonus, if she gets bullied again, she could deliver a kick and chop to the bully! (Juuuust kidding)

Kimberly said...

I was a also a victim of that kind of behavior. However, I had no one come to my aid. I just took it until I was in High School. I then became an athlete and was in Tae Kwon Do for two + years. It was then that people didn't bother me because they became afraid of me. And I didn't even have to do anything to bully them. They just became intimidated by me.

I hate when I see kids acting like this today. I usually say something to them. I get the same results Lynn did.

God bless y'all.


Lori Arriaga said...

It is so sad to see how kids can treat one another these days. As mothers we need to stand up for our children because no one else probably will.

Me and my husband are trying to teach each of our kids that they need to stick up for each other too when they see the neighborhood kids treating them or others badly as
I have had to talk with a few kids myself in our neighborhood.

Lori Arriaga said...

Hi Kimberly, Great to see you chime in here.