When I was a young, I was never what you would consider a popular girl. I wrestled with several social issues. As a child, I was taunted for being Asian. I was called every stereotypical ethnic slur that you could think of. I was a rather chubby child until I reached high school, so that gave the mean kids in my school more ammunition to use against me. When I reached high school my body changed, but unfortunately most of these people remained the same. Like many schools, ours had its fair share of cliques. I was often disliked or dismissed because I was not a part of any of these groups. High school was not a fun time for me.
Our daughter is an only child. I have tried to expose her to other children as often as possible for her to understand the importance of socialization, sharing & patience. Along with daycare, we have play dates, assorted classes & playgroups to assist with these. Much to my heartbreak, I have witnessed that exclusion, cruelty and bullying are not just reserved for teens.
Recently, my child was playing with an older group of already established friends. She approached them with her usual cheerful spirit & energy, filled with excitement to meet each & every one of them. As she was introducing herself, the foursome turned and walked away, leaving her standing there alone. I felt a stab in my heart as my sweet girl watched them walk away. Luckily being a resilient toddler, she quickly moved on to independent play. I was more wounded by this interaction than she was.
It made me look ahead. It made me scared for the future. It is a certainty that through the years that she will feel the pain of hurt feelings, exclusion and children’s cruelty. With any luck she will keep her resilience. She will understand that the opinions of others do not define her. My wish is that she never tries to conform to be accepted by others. As time goes on and she encounters this more and more, I hope that she keeps her same gentle spirit, that she does not give in to the taunting of others and that she is always true to herself. In the meantime, I will do my part to try to instill these values in her & pray that her adolescent pain is kept to a minimum.
It’s amazing how mean kids can be!
It really is. It is unfortunate, but so is the world we live in today.
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I also recall when Emma first started pre-school how little cliches seemed to form even at that early age. I am not kidding when I say it shocked me and still can’t believe that it is indeed happening at a younger age. So, like you I am just trying my best to teach my girls not to act this way and also to understand that those who do aren’t really worth getting upset over, as well as to move on and find others who are more like minded to them. But still is very sad that our girls would even have to think or deal with any of this at such a young and tender age.
It is sad. I hope my daughter never as to feel as badly as I did when I was a child. Kids can truly be so cruel.
I was bullied in school too and its always been somethig ive feared for willow. I’m very much like you, i hope that interaction with other kids at this age will go on with her through her life, fingers crossed
I am sorry that you went through that. It is not a fun feeling. It really hurt. I always thought, if people would just get to know me… I never want that for my daughter. We will hopefully send them off to the world well equipped for these situations.
Meanness, unkind words, and exclusion – these things really get to me. I am a first year teacher, I teach second grade, and I see these things take place in my classroom and on the playground. We have had numerous talks in my room about feelings, friendship, kindness, and making better choices in various situations. It makes me so sad that kids can be so mean.
At least you are doing your part to address it. It is sad. Children do not understand how damaging this can be. You see stories of suicides in the news because of bullying & it is heartbreaking. It makes me wonder do these bullies feel any remorse? Will they when they reach adulthood? Hopefully my child will trust me enough to share these things if they ever occur.
Its so tough to watch our children go through things like this. My son is now 4 & he is very emotional. When a friend doesnt want to play woth him, or he feels excluded because he is the only boy around and the girls all want to play princess, he gets very sad & sulky. I try my best to teach him that sometimes other kids wont want to play, but it doesnt mean he cant still have fun doing something. If a close friend of his is being mean, the mother of the child and myself try to have them come up with a compromise; think of something theycan both play, like maybe princess & princes. Its difficult to watch out kids get excluded but hopefully they dont get torn down by this. Im glad your daughter is resilient :).
It is tough and it hurts for us just as it does for them. I know this is a part of life. It just is so unfortunate that it has to be. I bet my daughter and your son could be great friends. 🙂
As an adult i find rejection difficult, so i can imagine how they must feel. I agree! Our kids could be great friends 🙂
Me as well. I found that things like Facebook have reopened my feelings of inadequacy because many of those cliques still remain. And then I remember that I have a wonderful life, why should I care about these other people?
Oh, social media is most definitely a place where old wounds can be opened. I deleted my Instagram months ago because it made me so anxious! So many cliques & feelings of inadequacy. But like you, i learned that its all a show. My life is happy, while they are just posting what they want people to THINK their life is like.
This is what scares me. I am 40 and still am stung by these memories. Let us hope our children do not have to contend with these things.
We are also dealing with this with my 10 year old daughter. The cliques have really started to solidify for the first time this year, and she struggles with friends splitting into different ones. She feels like she has to choose one or the other and it is heartbreaking.
I wish life wasn’t so cruel sometimes!
Your poor girl. She should not have to choose. One of my friends has girls this age too and the stories she tells me shock me. I just can’t believe how manipulative and cruel they can be at even such a young age. Where do they learn this? We can only hope our children remain strong and make their own decisions and that they are good ones.
You witnessed the mother’s nightmare.
I so wish that my kids will find friends but also that I am able to teach my kids too to be kind to others!
I have the same hope for my daughter. If she is ever cruel and I find out, she is in some trouble with this mean girl.
I’ve seen it at this age too, sadly. Instilling good values in our children along the way and being there for them will definitely put things on the right track.