Every day, some where in the world, there is a child who comes home from school upset or crying due to someone else's bad behavior. It is really sad but true. I think of it as a rite of passage thing. Children have these experiences in their young life to see how they handle it. If you don't handle it right not to worry...it will happen again...until it is handled correctly.
Today was my daughter's turn to handle it.
When I arrived at the daycare to pick her up she was happily building a log cabin with three boys. As we left she darted back inside to show the lead caregiver the tiny bears she had in her pocket. She skipped out the door and into the car. While she told me about her day Lauren and Elizabeth came up. When their names are mentioned it is usually followed by some horrible thing they did to her or said to her. Snow White was so upset this time she burst in to tears and her words caught in her throat as she tried to speak. The frequency has become more than Snow White can bare.
She has tried to keep her distance from them but that is not always possible. They all ride the same bus both in the morning and afternoon. Thank goodness Snow White is not in the same classroom or on the same lunch time as these two. Elizabeth is in 3rd grade but Lauren is in 2nd grade just like Snow White. Lauren has recess the same time as Snow White but they do not have to be near each other. All three of them do have to stand in the same line after school while waiting for the bus to arrive for about 15 minutes. There is a teacher watching over them while they wait so the girls have no opportunity to misbehave at that time. They are all at the daycare center from 3:30 to 5:00 in the evening. There are activity rooms for the children to play in but they all seem to enjoy the same activities so they end up in the same room from time to time. Snow White thought it was very unfair that she should always have to give up the arts and crafts room because L & E were in also in the room.
On our way home tonight I thought about turning the car around and heading back to the daycare center. I wanted to tell those girls a thing or two! "Are you so low class you have to talk trash to everyone around you? What, your Momma don't love you?! She didn't teach you any manners? Are you an animal? You do not belong in this nice place so scat you rat!" or maybe "When you see my daughter come around you better be nice or I will sick Guido on your tiny pathetic arse! Capuche?! "
Ok, so I would never say anything like that but come on...you know it would feel good to put a bully/brat in their place. You see them at the stores, in restaurants and other places. Tell me there hasn't been a time when you wanted to verbally scare the poop out of them!
Mean thoughts were racing through my brain like telling Snow White several mean and nasty things to say right back at those awful girls! What would that accomplish? With the repetitiveness required to make an impact on these girls my sweet little girl would turn out just like them!! Hell NO I don't want my daughter to be like THEM!
Instead I comforted my little Snow White and tried my best to explain nasty/mean people are everywhere. To change they need God's help and they have to want to change. I told her maybe they have a miserable life and everyone knows misery loves company. They think if they are miserable why shouldn't everyone around them be miserable? At this point my brain stopped racing and I felt sorry for these girls. They do not know how to deal with their peers other than bullying. I tried to get Snow White to see that they must have some family or other issues going on in their very young lives. She protested saying no one is miserable, people are happy in their hearts and everyone is good. Oh the sweetness of innocent youth.
When we arrived home I called the daycare center and spoke with daycare director. I explained nicely what we have done to this point and Snow White had reached the end of her rope with these girls. The director informed me that Snow White had approached the her and other staff with her concerns regarding L & E. She also said they sat all three girls down and had a chat with them. After that she thought everything was working out. Snow White joined our conversation while passing by my room. She explained how she has left an activity she enjoys due to the girls coming in the room. Also the girls whisper their threats and derogatory comments when they pass by her on the bus and within the center.
I was actually very surprised to hear my 7 year old Snow White handled the situation so maturely. She had the mind set to actually speak up and inform the director and other staff about the situation. She is growing up, not being a shy little girl who allows people to just walk all over her. Trying to make a positive impact on things around her.
It is sad this sort of thing happens but then again it is a growing experience which she handled correctly. Tomorrow the staff will again sit down with all the girls. Snow White assured me she will not be afraid to speak up for herself. I hope it is also a well received growing experience for the other two girls. After all, they are all in the same generation and will likely have some effect (large or small) on each other later on in life.
I know Snow White is not the first to go through this. I recently found these blog entries Cheeky Lotus and Silicon Valley Moms