Friday, October 17, 2008

Too nice?

I love my kids!

I love how Caroline reads stories to Emma and tucks her in.
I love how Jack always holds the door open for everyone.
I love how Sam colors special pictures to cheer up Jack.
And I love how Emma will share her special puppy with Caroline.

I love so much about all four the kids. They are all very compassionate, and caring kids, they are very well mannered and kind, they are sweet and sensitive, really remarkable kids! I am so proud of the people they are becoming.

Lately though, I've been wondering if I've encouraged them to be too nice.

Why else would Sam get punched in the face and not tell on the little bully?
Why else would Jack stand holding the door for ten minutes while the whole school passed right on through?
And why else does Caroline worry so much about the same three brats who have been terrorizing her since kindergarten?

In my attempts to teach them empathy, have I somehow diluted their confidence?

I worry that I have taught them too much about not hurting other people's feelings, and not enough about standing up for their own.

Caroline is having an especially difficult time at school these days, and I just don't know what to do. I can't believe the vicious girl stuff is starting already. Caroline is the sweetest little girl, she would never say or do anything to hurt anyone, so why do these girls pick on her?

And even when they are being so mean to her, why is she still constantly trying to be their friend? Why can't she write them off and just not talk to them anymore?

Does she feel like she needs everyone to like her? Have I taught her that?

I'd like to tell her just what I think of these little jerks, and how I wouldn't be too upset if she all out whopped one of them, but my motherly instincts tell me that's not the right thing to do. So what is?

She's avoiding going to school. She's even waking up crying about it. It breaks my heart, and I don't know how to fix it.


Kristin said...

That really stinks about the issues the kids are having at school. It breaks my heart to hear about it also. I don't really recall that type of stuff happening when we were kids. But then again, all of the parents and families knew each other. It would have been pretty hard to pick on one of the kids and realize everyone would know about it, including your own parents. In addition, picking on someone at school would mean losing one of your afterschool friends, and who would want that? I know I am not a parent and after two days of babysitting overnight for two neices, I know I never could be. In this crazy world that no one seems to have much control over, good luck!!!

Jessica said...

Jessica...have you talked to the teacher??? Sounds like something she should definitely be dealing with - especially if it's sooo bad and constantly recurring! This is a serious bullying issue! :(

Thankfulmom said...

I'm sorry your daughter is experiencing this - it really is so challenging and sad. Clearly you are a very loving mother and I'm sure you'll find a way to sort it out.

A book that I have found insightful is Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate. You might find something useful there.