When I was deciding on a blog name I wrote "Family, Books and Food" thinking I would write some family stuff but turns out I never have. I have no idea why but I would have so many posts on books that I never got around to writing any on my family stuff.
Then one day after school my daughter, (11) broke down in tears as a girl was making fun of her while the teacher and some other students were out of the class. So as the girl made fun of my daughter other kids in the class laughed along with her and no one defended her. Then I got mad but not necessarily at the bully but at the lack of anyone standing up for those who need someone on their side. If a "bully" gets laughter when they say something cruel they will continue to do so but if people put a stop to it the bully will eventually stop.
So I decided to write a facebook rant on how I felt and I think it was one of the best things I could have done. The amount of parents that then talked to their kids about what happened was astounding and the next day at school many kids came up to my daughter and gave her hugs and told her they had her back. This is what I wanted - talk between a parent and child to tell them they need to be there for each other.
This is what I wrote:
So beyond tired of the "drama" and "bullying" that happens at school with my daughter coming home in tears again after an incident in her class. I think I am more upset that no one had the courage to stand up for my daughter and laughed along with the girl who was making fun of her. In her school we use WITS - walk away and ignore being the first two but I am sick and tired of it constantly happening as she chooses to walk away and not defend herself. She plays hockey with boys who know and respect her for not backing down and they have her back just as she has hers but in school we let kids walk all over those who don't defend themselves or who aren't "popular". I wish kids were rewarded for being an individual and not following along with the "cool" kids and I wish more than anything that kids would not be afraid to stick up for those who need a friend on their side.
My daughter is an athletic girl who plays hockey and lacrosse which very few girls at her school do. She plays hockey with the boys and she is respected on the ice for her tough play and doesn't back down. She plays lacrosse with the girls and for a small girl she is tough and never gives up. Yet at school she is the quiet girl with braces and glasses who seems to have a hard time fitting in.
She is an individual and is not interested in make up or boys in any way other than as a teammate or friend. We need to support our girls for being different and give them the strength to be themselves in a world where women are trying to be seen as equals. Instead of being jealous over our differences we need to support the girls who choose their own path.
A few friends of mine sent links to amazing articles and how we can support our girls and teach them to be themselves and how to weed out the drama in their lives!
My hope is that through communication with our kids we teach them to stick up for their friends and realize how much damage words can do! I continually tell my daughter she is amazing and has so much going for her and that is why she is being targeted but she still needs that support at school too!
Let's support our kids and allow them to be themselves!!