Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Girls....

If you've ever met my girls then you know that they are very thoughtful, sweet and pretty mild mannered. We definitely have issues at times, but they are usually very minor.

Well, they have never had a lot of friends, largely because in the areas that we have lived and gone to church in and homeschooled in, there just haven't been very many girls their age. When they do get together with other girls, they usually are peacekeepers and prefer that there is no conflict. They try to avoid it at all costs, even sometimes if it means bowing to whatever someone else wants. Well the last couple of years have been very difficult. They have had one "friend" that is just outright rude to them. She's very bossy, creates conflicts, has tried to pit the girls against each other and says hurtful things to them. For instance, my girls recently had their hair cut into styles that they chose. Everyone that has seen it has loved it, but this little girl told one of them that she didn't like her hair and then looked at the other and told her she did like hers. I have really worked on distancing them from this friendship, but there are unavoidable situations where they have to be around this person. Then they made some "friends" that I would call "fairweather friends". They can't decide who they want to be friends with from one minute to the next, as if it's only possible for them to be friends with one person at a time. They are constantly squabbling with someone, not my girls, but usually one of their other friends, so there is often turmoil in the group. Honestly, as a mother, this has been one of the toughest things to deal with.

I'm just tired of this whole situation. We have worked really hard at teaching our girls how to be good friends. We've taught them about treating other people the way they want to be treated and about getting to know the quiet kids as much as the outgoing ones. I even watch them in situations with their friends to see if their are areas they need to work on. It is absolutely unacceptable to me for them to say anything that would be hurtful to someone else. If they did, I would not think it was cute or that it is just a normal girl thing. I cannot for the life of me understand why any of us would stand by and accept that what is normal for the world has to be normal for our children as well. I refuse to accept that girls are just "like that" and allow my girls to develop those traits.

Here are a few words of advice and then I will get off of my soap box. If a behavior is not attractive in your child, it will be even less attractive in them as an adult and you have a much better chance of changing it in them now than you do when they are older. Instead of just disciplining in the moment, try to figure out the heart issue that is causing the unatractive behavior.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I am just feeling a little fed up at the moment and you know how us momma's feel when someone is hurting our children.

(Disclaimer: I by no means think that I have this parenting thing down pat. I make mistakes all the time and run into situations constantly that I don't know what to do with. I've second-guessed many decisions that I have made in the friend and how to be a friend department. It just seems to me that it shouldn't be too much to expect your child to be kind to others. That just seems so fundamental to me, maybe I'm wrong, but this is what's on my heart today.)

4 comments:

Leslie said...

Just wait until they are teenagers!! Kind of makes me glad that I have a boy and won't have to deal with the cattiness :)! Sounds like you are doing a good job of teaching them right!

~*Lisa*~ said...

You asked me to weigh in sister and here is what I do about it because we are dealing with the same thing except ours started in 1st grade. "M" is the exact same way she is willing to just roll over and play dead so that nobody is mad at her. The other day she came to me and told me about a few girls that literally have been torturing her. I think I finally got to her when I told her next time they said or did something to her ask them if they would do that if Jesus was standing there. I really think children are children and they are mean and we as parents need to protect them not shelter them. It happens and we just need to make sure we are teaching them at home how to handle the situation. I do not care if the child is a neighbor, family member or even a staffer at a church's child if they are damaging your child you have to tell them they are no longer allowed to be friends with this person. And if you feel comfortable enough with the child's parent tell them about the child's behavior and that you can not allow your children to be hurt like this. It's just a very fine line between allowing them to handle this and it being a growing experience and then protecting them. ;) I hope it helps. I just think you need to pray further about this one and see how the father would lead you. I know that I have had to tell my own children they are no longer allowed to even be friends with some of Bo's extended families children. Its not easy but I am going to give an account for my children not there's :) I pray you find some peace sister. Praying for you

The Arnold Family said...

Amen.

YES I know of which you speak. It is SO HARD raising girls! They are so mean to each other! I will never accept hurtful things coming out of any of my childrens mouth, and will never just brush it off as something girls do. No no no no. One thing that RUUUUBS me the wrong way is a clique. Especially a mean one. Your girls are sweet. You have done a good job with them. Continue on. But yes, how hard it is having our girls go through this. Ty has gone through it too, and she is only 6. I cringe when I think about the times to come. Ha I may be coming to you!

Thanks for sharing.

Laurie said...

Friends....they add spice to life, eh? As with spices..some are tasty and some are bitter. It's hard as an adult to have "friends" like this...and harder as a child to deal with it...and harder yet as a parent watching your child deal with it.
I always go back to this thought...teach my children the correct way to be a friend, both by showing them in yourself and in teaching them by my words.
There are some that I prefer my children not to be with, and will go out of my way to insure that. It's sad, but my children and their hearts are worth any effort needed to protect them.

I feel for you...and will pray for your girls.

All girls, when becoming teens, do not become awful. I refer to my two teens (one boy, one girl so far) as teen angels. They are nothing like a "typical teen"...so it is indeed possible to raise children to be wonderful teens too.

Hang in there....