Friday, July 17, 2009
Do you guys ever go back and read comments on someone else's blog? I know, I know, I rarely do either. My computer time is just so dang limited that when the girls are asleep and the washing machine is running I hop on the computer and race against time to post pictures, answer email, maybe write up a blog post, and read my friends' new blog posts as fast as I can. Because once Ro and Ree wake up, well forgeddaboutit. But the comments on the previous Mean Girls post were just so interesting that if you have a free minute (trust me, I know how rare those are), they'd be great ones to read. I just feel so lucky to have you guys in my corner. I appreciate each and every attagirl (so nice to hear, oh my gosh so nice!), each offer of hugs (thanks Johnny!), each personal experience, and each tactfully worded offer of an alternative opinion or option. Truly. Anyhow, if you have a few minutes, skim through the comments, and I think you'll be as interested as I was to read personal stories of encounters with mean girls, school programs to encourage nice behavior that are started as early as kindergarten, and also some really valuable insight into behavior and realistic expectations for how five and six year olds can and cannot communicate. Loved the info! If you don't have time to read all the comments, here are a few possible insights that folks offered into the mean girls that really made me think (I didn't specifically highlight the "You go, mama!" or "We ran into the mean girls too" comments, but there were many, many of those too, and all are worth a read): ...Next time some clique of girls is mean to them, find them a group of little boys to play with! At our community pool the little boys are always in a big ole' group having fun, splashing around and they will let any little girl join in that asks!... ...I wonder if these young girls just didn't have the advanced social prowess to "ease out of a situation" like adults do. Maybe they didn't know how to gently leave the girls with the right vocabulary (ie. it was nice meeting you, we're going to go now...)... ...It was good, however, that M3 spoke up like she did. Many times it's another parent's correction that makes the most impression on a child. If my daughter deserves the verbal correction by another parent, I will most certainly allow it and will reinforce it. ... ...In a situation like this, another idea to consider might be talking directly with Ro and Ree in front of the girls... saying something along the lines of "sometimes people need space, but they forget how to ask for it nicely. Let's give them some space." ...It's likely that they didn't want to play with "little kids" but didn't feel comfortable telling an adult so. Instead, they picked up and moved away, probably hoping that Ro and Ree would stay with you. That strategy didn't work so they regressed to little-kid behavior themselves... Great stuff, and really informative to read! Seriously, you should just read the comments instead of reading this. :-) In any case, I just wanted to say thanks for all the strong support and also for the advice. I feel validated and also feel like I learned alot about the situation (at least with really young girls) so I can be an even better MamaBear the next time this type of thing happens. Bring it on! PS: I did have to laugh at the anon commenter who said "...for the life of me I cannot figure out why you would not take an opportunity to explain to the young girls that what they said could hurt someone's feelings and instead chose to retaliate..." Really? Seriously? You can't for the life of you figure out why I didn't say something wonderfully wise and elegant to those little girls? Well, to set the record straight once and for all, the reason I didn't is because (insert big dramatic pause as I'm about to admit a shameful little secret): I'm not perfect. Oooooo, the shock, the horror. Heh heh. Anyhow, I learn new things and better approaches every day on this parenting journey, and hopefully if I write about my experiences, then other folks can learn from this blog too. I guess that's why I wrote these posts.