This is from my Mommy Heart. And my heart hurt for my daughter today.
Walking home from school, we had a couple girls come behind us and pass our slower walking crew. My Girl said "Hi" as she knew them from the school and mixed up one of their names. I corrected her and waited for some sort of response from these two girls as they walked past. There was none. They whispered, smirked at each other and carried on. My insides broke as My Girl was still going on and telling me that they were her friends from school and how she liked them very much.
She was completely innocent and unaware of the mean little jab that she had received from these two, but I sure wasn't! Of course the mommy mother hen part of me wanted to run up there and give them a spiel on kindness and who the heck did they think they were being such little snobs..... Yeah that was my inner-dialogue but I knew that it was far from what I needed to do.
We arrived home and as my kids carried on with their normal routine, I hid myself away and cried. The fears of people treating her like a person who is "different" had started. It hasn't completely been lost on me that she is rarely invited to playdates and left out from most school birthdays. Kids have a hard time understanding and I get that. But I also wonder why kids aren't more accepting or loving of their peers?
I was visited by the "memory monster". You know the one who shows up and brings back all the memories from every childhood jab you received from your peers. This really got me thinking, why are some kids so mean? What stage is it that starts us thinking that this is an okay way to treat people? Comparison and insecurity: why are they so prevalent? And how do we help them come through these trials? We can't protect them all the time. We can't even say what we are thinking to the hurtful words and actions of other kids out there. The route of kindness: why isn't that the path they choose? How can we guide them towards that path? It seems that no matter what they are taught at home, they still so easily are swayed to exclude and compare.
In high school, I kind of get it. Teens are just a hormonal mess, but little 8, 9 and 10 year olds? What the heck! They should still be playing hopscotch and being friends with everyone.
So Moms what do we do? How can we help our children along this journey? How do we teach them to be the inclusive ones? The one who accepts despite the pressures around them to judge? How do we set the example and show them how to choose love and kindness?