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