So we all know how mean kids can be right? Calling names, ignoring people, telling other kids that they don’t want to play with them. You get the idea.
My daughter takes all of those things right to heart. Even raising your voice totally overwhelms her. She has been having a hard time lately with kids in her school and daycare being mean. I get that most kids have their moments, call someone a name or do something that may hurt someone else, but I also think that everyone has a right to their own feelings and body. Everyone also has a right to stand up for those feelings and their body or personal space whenever someone is infringing upon it. So now let me tell you how the last 2 days have gone in our house.
Yesterday morning I picked out my daughter’s clothes for her and asked her to get dressed. The first pair of pants that I picked out for her were too small (no big deal), “Here are your favourite jogging pants instead” I said to her. She looked at them and broke down in tears. “I can’t wear those! They make me look FAT and STUPID”.
EXCUSE ME? First of all, let me point out, that we do not use the word FAT in our house (in my blog yes I do, but not in spoken word). I grew up with body image issues. I know what that one word can do to a little girl, even when said indirectly. Even as I am working on my fitness I do not say that I am trying to lose weight or I think I’m fat etc. I say that I am trying to become healthier and stronger.
So I asked her, “What do you mean they make you look fat and stupid? They are your favourite. Your look great in them, you feel good in them. Who made you think those mean things about yourself?” Well apparently, the last time that she wore these particular pants, a girl at daycare told her that those pants made her look fat and it was a stupid outfit that she wearing. My daughter, being herself, did not say anything back to this girl or stand up for herself at all. She just was sad about it. After a bit of coaxing she ended up wearing those pants confidently with the attitude that if this ‘mean girl’ says something again my daughter would tell her that she was being rude and basically to get lost lol
Now onto last night. My daughter came home from school and told me that something had ‘happened’ to her at recess today. Apparently, while playing with a small group of kids, one of the boys asked her to take a look at something. She didn’t want to so he decided to force her head against the fence and hold her there until she looked. No teacher saw, no one did anything, including my daughter. She said she cried because it hurt and told him to quit but he didn’t.
Honestly, I lost my shit at this point. Not going to lie. Seriously? WTF?
So my best parenting advice came out at this point. I told my daughter that if anyone EVER does this to her again…to punch them. I told her that if anyone touches a part of her body without her permission to kick their ass. Lay them out. Push, punch, kick. Whatever you have to do to protect your own body. That is YOUR body and YOUR personal space. NOONE is allowed to enter it without your permission.
She was scared of getting into trouble at school but I reassured her that if that happened she would be ok at home. Obviously I stressed that we do not START fights. We do not hit because we don’t like someone or something or just for no reason. That is important. But as a child, as a girl, she has every right to protect herself.
Do I regret giving her this advice? HELL NO. It’s the truth! Everyone has a right to their own feelings and their own bodies. Do I hope that she punches someone? Not necessarily. But I hope that she does learn to stand up for herself one day. We all have to protect ourselves, no one else will.