I helped my girls to Stand Up !!!

Thank you Blogadda for selecting this post as one of the Spicy Saturday Picks !!! :)

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Monu, your post today, made me write this. Thats why my comment was so short there…all I needed to tell could not be told as a comment. :)

So, let me first introduce my two daughters – Sr and Sh – totally extremes in nature and in their approach to problems.

Sr, being shy and reserved to begin with, is sure to spend her whole life time talking, if she finds someone with great rapport.

Sh, being more forthcoming and straightforward, can’t say No to her friends, yet.

But, being of totally diverse nature, I truly admire the way both avoid getting bullied !!!

When the girls were young, I used to teach them only the good things, the right ways to doing stuff, everything the goody goody way !!!   I never even thought of teaching them, that there is a bad side to everything. I thought that by keeping them away from all these bad stuff and by creating a good world in front of their eyes, I am the smartest Mom in this world. But, how wrong I was to think that !!!!

When I put the elder one in play school, there never used to be any problems.  She, being the shy child, will take so much to time to get close with others. She quietly tolerated the others, till she found someone she really liked.  So, when others talked badly, she didn’t allow those words to get into her – you know she’ll never allow anyone to ruffle her feathers.  Some might think her to be the proud cat or being cold – but thats her protection mechanism.  She’ll hold everything to herself, never allowing anyone near, unless they become dear to her.  She can also turn a blind eye to others and their bad behavior.  Even though I didn’t get much of these attitudes, when I was a young mother, I was happy that she is coping with school very fine.

But when the little one, Sh, started school, I became aware of many things.  First, Sh tried to be like me, in school. She’ll patiently explain to her classmates, why a certain thing is wrong – or why a certain word is bad for talking.  Whenever, someone did a mistake (according to what I’ve taught her), she’ll start counselling them.  She became such a pro at it, that all her friends started calling her Advisor. And then, she didn’t like the title at all.  And whenever the other children join together to do some mischief, they purposefully left Sh out of it, fearing another session of advice from her.  Slowly and slowly, I saw my child becoming sad, day by day, just because she was following my teachings of being goody goody.  She was left with no friends.  This is not bullying, but still something for me to take notice of.

Then, I decided to change everything for her.  She was not being bullied, but she was being avoided. And from a child’s point of view, both are the same.  My child should not suffer with lack of friends, just because she is being very good and honest about things. So, I decided to stand up, for her.

I told her to follow what I had taught, but not force it on others.   Do you want me to keep quiet, when they use bad language ???

I told her to just hold on, till they learn it right from their mothers.

It was tough, explaining everything differently to her.  I told her to ignore those classmates when they do something bad or use bad language.  I reasoned with her to insist that not all the kids in her class will be like her and told her to accept them however they are.  Its only when they try to hurt her, I taught her to defend herself -either physically or with words.  It was certainly more difficult to undo all the mistakes I had done.

I had taught her not to use bad language.  But when her friends spoke, I told her to ignore those words.

I taught her not to hit anyone. But later, I taught her to defend, when being hit.

I taught her to be honest and accept your mistake. But when her friends did some mistakes, I told her to be quiet, when the teacher asks.

Then later, I also understood this valuable lesson :

The person who makes the mistake should come forward and accept it – only then there will be hope that he will not do it again.

So, I taught her to wait, till the time her friends are more honest to accept what they have done.

I told her not to talk on behalf of others !! Each one should defend their own case.

All these might look so rude or silly, but they were lessons, which both me and my daughters learned and perfected over a period of time.

I give lunch to both my girls – sometimes their favorite paneer or aloo, will be filled to the brim, so that they can share with friends. Sr will give a piece or two to her best friends and have the rest for herself.  She is friendly with all the ppl in her class, but opens her true self only to her best friends. She ignores all comments, bullying, teasing or any such stuff and I can rest assured that nothing goes into her mind, which she doesn’t like. She’ll not ponder on silly things like friendly quarrel.

Sh still can’t say No to her friends, when they take her lunch and eat it all up.  She just can’t do this.  Even when she is not fond of a particular friend, she’ll not let it show through rude words…she’ll still try to be kind with them.  But when someone ignores her, she’ll meet them face to face and ask them straight on their face, what’s your problem and why are you doing this ?? Clear everything, then we’ll stop talking – thats the way she is.

So, over the years, we have grown – me as a mother and my children as young girls.

Now, I can say that they know the bad part of the world too…I’ve made sure that I talk about all those things from time to time…But, there is the difference in being good among all the bad, in this world.

But let it not mean, that they can be bullied !!! I’ve taught them to stand up for themselves.  Childhood mental tragedies are hard to handle later, its better to prevent them all, if possible.

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About Uma Srinivasan

A Stay At Home Mom trying desperately to make a difference, in whatever I do !!!
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60 Responses to I helped my girls to Stand Up !!!

  1. Swaram says:

    Clear everything, then we’ll stop talking – Reading all abt them, I think I am so much like Sh, esp. this line :) I hate it when ppl go the cold war way!!

    Like

  2. Shilpa Garg says:

    Very well said, Uma!! Agree completely!
    We had a friend whose kid was in the habit of hitting other kids (and most of the times, real hard!) and the sad part was the parents never stopped their kid or reprimanded him. Aaryan was new to all this and soon became a victim, so we told him, never to initiate the fight but if somebody hits you, hit him back.
    And one day he hit him back, so this child comes crying and complains, so I coolly asked him, “Who started the fight?” He said, “I hit him”. I explained him, “If you will hit Aaryan, he will hit you back, and if Aaryan hits you first, you can hit him and let me know too”. The parents were shocked and didnt say a word and the child was careful with Aaryan around.

    There should be zero-tolerance for bullying!

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Shilpa, isn’t become necessary to defend ??? But I am glad u taught Aaryan !!!

      Even with siblings, if one is the hyper kind and who hits, the second one, even being soft by birth, learns to hit for defense. Its natural to being a human being. :)

      Like

  3. Smita says:

    You have handled it so well!!! You have rightly said, kids need to be told idealistic things but then they shud also be street smart! They shudn’t be made timid!!!

    There was something soothing about the whole post! Dunno what :)

    Like

    • Pallavi says:

      I felt the same way, Smita, but couldn’t put it into words. I think the fact that there is a ‘mum who has succeeded in teaching her kids the right way’ makes us feel happy and secure at the same time :-) The world can still be a good place!

      Like

      • Smita says:

        Very well said :) And I hope I also manage to do something similar when my kids turn comes :)

        Like

      • UmaS says:

        Pallavi, Smita, thank you….your words stress the fact that I’ve indeed done a good job as a mother of two, I am glad. And I strongly feel that everyone of us can do that parenting role, provided we think that each and every child is unique and the time-tested examples need not work for a particular child.

        Like

  4. All I will say “You are an adorable mom” I am sure your daughters will be strong and unique one day :-)

    Like

  5. Priya says:

    There’s so much to learn in here Uma! Thanks for sharing your experiences and learnings!!
    There is this constant tussle between teaching the goody goody stuff and letting the kids understand and handle others outside the home. And it takes so much of effort and patience to do that. Its so good to see that your efforts with Sh are paying off!
    I am more like Sr and Ammu has more resemblance to Sh. And i’ve been trying to tell her the same things that you’ve written here. I hope i do a good job too :)

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      I am so happy to have been of some help Priya. Take all the points you want, but make sure if they will fit for Ammu !!! Its the mother’s intuition that plays a major role – trust in your decisions and you’ll be a great mom !!!

      If you are like Sr, then give me 5 too !!! My Sr is just like me !!! :)

      Like

  6. Vimmuuu says:

    this post reminds me of my childhood !! My bro was this quiet and reserved kind of guy, his classmates bullied him like crazy it seems and one day he came back home crying with blood stains on his shirt; my mother had taught him to be submissive !!! I was sent to school, I didnt go to bully anyone (as far as I remember ;)), but I never spared anyone who came to bully me. I still remember taking out my red colored cloth belt to hit a guy named Jason when I was only in 2nd std; my mother by then taught me to be aggressive :D I used to even argue with my bros friends when I find them making fun of him. Somehow, he never liked me doing that and used to hit me real hard after reaching home :D :D

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      My God, Vimmuuu, you are damn good !!! You defended yourself and that is fantastic !!! Great !!! Kudos to your mom, for making u strong against the bullies !!! :)

      Like

  7. Smitha says:

    That was beautifully said, Uma! I try to tell Poohi the same. Ignore, unless she is impacted, and even then, I don’t like the concept of retaliating in kind..

    Your daughters have such a lovely lovely mom!!!

    Short comment, due to lack of time :( Hugs!

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Yes, retaliating in kind, is just not right. So, the child must be taught to inform adults or other friends or seniors that a bully is troubling him. The child can be asked to be in constant good company, to protect him from the bully.

      Its OK – come back from ur trip and write long ones !!! ;)

      Like

  8. RK says:

    Hi Uma,

    My kid is just into nursery and I already have all these coming up. This post has come just in time to answer many of my questions. :-)

    Btw, I’ve put up a contest at my blog (after I received that trophy from you)

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Take heart…nursery is just the beginning. But things will work out fine, if your communication with your child is great !!! Hugs and all the best to your parenting !!! :)

      Like

  9. DI says:

    Aha, a lot of good advice I will put to use later in life I guess :D Lovey post, as usual!

    Like

  10. scorpria says:

    “But, there is the difference in being good among all the bad, in this world.” So very right you are!

    You sound so much like my mother :) So, as far as I know , there are two AWESOME mothers in this world :D ;)

    Like

  11. Niveditha says:

    I’ve no children of my own cos I’m not married! :P
    Anyway, nursery school kids have such complex problems?! :shock:

    Like

  12. deethi says:

    Hey,this is so amazing of you.you letting the kids be themselves and also are making sure that you are an integral part of their life :) clap clap

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Welcome Deethi !!! :)

      Yes, its been a great journey of learning for me and my girls and I am happy that I’ve made some good decisions. :) Thanks so much !!! :)

      Like

  13. Lakshmi says:

    Wow Uma. You understand their world so well, wonderful. Sr and Sh are great, able to follow your guidance so well. I definitely need to know how to explain it this well to my kids.

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Sometimes, its me who follow what they say !!!! ;)

      It depends – when we have taught them to think and take decisions, sometimes they out beat us and take much smarter decisions and then I am proud to follow them. :)

      And you can do it too !!! :)

      Like

  14. sindhu says:

    Hi Uma. loved this post. I have been seeing you around (mostly the first to comment on all the posts, I read!) but could come down to read yours only now. This post was worth the wait. It somehow reflects how I feel on this too. I too, liek you have 2 girls and they are different in the way they react to the world. I too used to teach them the idealistic behaviours but have realised over the way that the world is not always good to the good. You have to be smart to take care of the bads that come your way too…

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Welcome Sindhu !!! Glad u landed on a fav topic of mine. ;)

      Absolutely true…we mothers need to teach them to tackle whatever that comes in their way, instead of keeping them in a cocoon !!! :)

      Like

  15. brilliant post uma… i am taking away so many points from here

    thanks a lot for the post :)

    hugs to u and yes many many kudos

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Monu, even though I am going through this for the past so many years, I’ve never put it all down in writing…so thanks to you, that I did it. :)

      Kudos to you and every mother who is earnestly trying to make better human beings of their children !!! :)

      Like

  16. Aarti says:

    Sweet… i would love to meet ur girls some day!! :)

    us kids take away so much from our moms, surroundings and friends- we are lucky to have u all around us :-))

    Like

  17. congrats for the spicy saturday such a worthy post

    Like

  18. shail says:

    Your girls are lucky to have you as Mom Uma. I like the way you bring them up. :) Each child is different and needs a different approach. You seem to have done a very good job.

    Congrats on the Blogadda pick! Well deserved.

    Like

  19. You know what, like you I used to tell my daughter not to hit back etc. but now I tell her if the bully doesn’t stop being mean to her, she should retaliate, but she doesn’t listen to me…She just stands and cries…I’ve told her repeatedly not to cry but again she doesn’t listen…Don’t know what to do…

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      It takes time…a lot of time and we need patience the size of the earth. I talked with my younger one, to stand up against the bullies – for about 2 years…its worth it…when you see them strong later.

      But there are moments now, when I feel that maybe I should have taught her differently. But since, we do things to the best of our knowledge and interest, we need to just go ahead.

      She’ll learn – from the picture she looks so little – maybe in her Kindergarden ????

      Like

  20. Butterfly says:

    I think I will borrow ur kids for a while. U take mine. Make her like ur kids and send her back. Phuleeezzzzz!!!

    Like

  21. Kanagu says:

    You are a wonderful mom… :) my mother too told me to give it back if somebody continously bullies me… 2 times i Have done that but i didnt liked that… I am more like your elder daughter… Wont talk much… Took time to be close with somebody…

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Somehow you need to learn to protect against the bullies – and you chose this method, which is sometimes difficult – you keep too much within yourself. Thats what I tell my elder one – let out things out of your mind and be free of all those troubles.

      Like

  22. Your younger sounds so much like my daughter :) I had to teach her not to fight for others, not to tell anybody to not cheat, use bad language or break school rules – everything :) She is still basically the same!! I have been wanting to write a post like yours. Monika’s son reminded me of my daughter too… :) But Uma this is the side to her only we knew – her teachers thought she was very confident and she was also actively involved in every school activity.

    She is fine now at 19 but the basic temperament has not really changed, I feel.

    Loved reading your post – made me feel I am not one of my kind :)

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Some basic qualities with which they are born never change, I guess. But, we can only help them to avoid certain situations. And having taught the plus and minus of certain qualities, I hope that she’ll learn to survive in this world, on her own.

      Oh, even now and then, Sh charges to prove the good over bad. And then seeing some mixed responses from her friends, she keeps quiet.

      Thanks IHM, hugs to you, on that last line !!! :)

      Like

  23. Meira says:

    It’s a very tough thing to do, no? Explaining the same principles and their different applications? You handled it pretty well, Uma.

    Like

  24. priya nagesh says:

    Fantastic! Please join my team when I start the school! :)
    I especially vibe with the part where you have said that the person who has made the mistake should come forward, otherwise he / she would do it again. Also, really liked the ‘blueprint’!

    In response to all the comments that I read:
    Well, the ‘bullies’ are children too, and they are bullies because they are deeply troubled and probably do not have parents who have a sound understanding or who would spend time and care on them. In fact the sad part is that they probably need the care and talking and understanding just as much or much more than what Sh or Sr get. Then, this means that retaliating in kind or giving it back to them is only going to scar them more and reinforce in them the unforgiving nature of society.

    Also, what lessons are we to give our children? We can obviously appreciate the wisdom that an eye for an eye makes the world blind. I am not saying that the ‘non-bullies’ have to be cowards and take bullying, definitely not. But they can be made to understand that there are ways and more ways of being proactive and even helping bullies. Right? This is of course the harder way.

    Like

    • UmaS says:

      Thanks. Sure, will think about it, Priya. :)

      If the parents can simply understand that each child is different and not to expect the same from everyone, thats a big step towards progress in parenting. :)

      Like

  25. starsinmeyes says:

    You know your girls so well! You really recognised the sad feelings that being avoided can be as disheartening as being bullied. I guess we all start out wanting to protect our kids, but we have to teach them coping strategies. Loved this post!!!

    Like

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