Tuesday, May 14, 2013
You know how you fear something but hope it's far in the future so you forget about it, then all of a sudden, BAM, it's there and it's there big time and you have to deal with it instead of pretending it will never happen?
Yeah. MEAN KIDS. It happened.
There have been a few mean kids here and there in the past, but nothing that big, and Josie wasn't old enough to really get they were being mean to her. This past week, she got it. On three different occasions.
Ugh times infinity.
I won't go through all the stories of how kids were mean to Josie. What they said doesn't really matter anyway. What will stay with me was the way she reacted.
The first mean kid made her absolutely crumple -- her shoulders slumped, her face fell, and she walked away. I followed her and asked her what was up, and ... this kills me ... she said "Please don't look at me or talk to me" and hid her face.
I left her alone, but I was crushed. Not only was she obviously upset in a way that I was not prepared for yet, but this was the first time that she felt sad and didn't run to me for comfort.
The next mean kid left her confused. She couldn't figure out why he was saying what he was saying, but she finally figured out what was going on, and she looked to me, silently asking me what was going on and what she should do.
And I guess I was just supposed to ... know? God, this poor kid. I had no idea. My first impulse was to punch the kid for talking to my kid the way he was, but since I'm writing this from the comfort of my living room instead of jail, you know I refrained.
The final incident included two kids and was the worst. It was outright bullying, and it led to Josie running over to me crying (while the kids chased after her, taunting her, no less). She flew into my arms and cried and asked me why they were calling her names and chasing her away from every part of the playground and not letting her play with anything.
I didn't have an answer for her. I just told her to tell them she didn't like they way they were talking to her, not to even worry about it, and go play away from them.
Those kids continued to follow her around the playground, chasing her off of things and calling her truly awful names, WHILE THEIR MOTHERS WATCHED, in case you're wondering. But don't let me get started on that. That's a whole other post.
I'm just not ready for this. I never imagined I would have to worry about Josephine being sensitive. I know that sounds stupid, but she's just so fearless. I'm not ready for my confident girl to feel sad and unsure of herself. This sucks.
I think I handled all the events the "right way" in the moment, but I'm wondering if you all have any tips on things I should be saying after the fact and to prepare her for more future events. We have talked about it a little, but do any of you have some great advice on how to talk to your kids to ease the hurt, keep their confidence intact, and give them strategies to respond when it happens again?