As many of you know, who have followed my blog, it has become more that a transplant journey, it is a life journey with many lessons learned along the way. I try to truthfully share lessons that I've learned to help others on their own life journey. I have to share with you a recent situation that I think any of you who are parents can relate to.
Friday afternoon Hannah had two friends over to spend the night. When they got home from school they were an emotional mess. It turned out they had been called to the counseling office because another girl had accused them of being a "posse" and being mean to her. This other girl has a history of drama and the girls adamantly denied having done the things she said. The more I heard, the angrier I became. I know this group of kids (two boys were also a part of the "posse") and they are good children, not the types that ever bully others. Most of them have never been in trouble before. Well, my mommy instinct kicked in and I was in defensive mode. To the phone I went and called the school then some of the other parents. All the while I was fuming at this little girl who was known for making up things to get attention.
To make a long story short, Scott and I did meet with the school officials on Monday and had the situation resolved. The children were not held responsible, but the school explained that they have to look into any complaints of harassment or clique behavior (which makes prefect sense!).
So, what does this story have to do with anything? Well, I have had several days to ponder on what happened and to realize that my reaction was terribly wrong and modeled the incorrect way to handle the situation for the girls. What do I mean? Of course I was right to contact the school and get more info. That isn't the behavior I mean. What I mean is the anger I felt. Was this little girl looking to hurt these children, or was she crying out for attention? Is the solution to shun her, stay away from her, and treat her like an enemy; or should the children reach out to her, trying to ease her obviously low sense of self-esteem. What would Jesus do in this exact same situation?
Anger causes us to be irrational and not view all sides of a situation. The little girl in question is facing some pretty serious medical concerns. I am sure she is scared and feels out of control. Perhaps she is looking for ways to take control of something, whether in a positive or negative way. She is crying out for attention and rather than condemning her, I need to reinforce loving her and praying for her.
Trust me, that is exactly the message I intend to share with these girls. They need to know that anger is never productive and I need to apologize for reacting the way I did.
If you are a parent of a girl or girls who are in the tween or teen years, I would like to refer you to two great resources that I have found. The first is for parents with girls between the ages of 8 and 12. It is "Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl" by Dannah Gresh. I loved her suggestions and she really hit the nail on the head of many of the issues tween girls are dealing with.
The second book was loaned to me by the counselor at Hannah's school. It is called "Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying", by Cheryl Dellasega and Charisse Nixon. As parents we have to take an active role in modeling positive behavior for our children and letting them know when we mess up. Don't just blow things off as girls will be girls.
Thank you for letting me share this lesson, I hope it will help some of you who are struggling with the same issues. God bless you all! Nancy