Sunday, March 20, 2016

When Kids Are (and their parents?) are Jerks

I haven't blogged in such a long time, and wasn't sure how, or even if, I was going to jump back into it. So I thought I would just dive in with what is on my heart at this moment. It's mostly just to vent, but maybe someone can relate to the situation or my observations.

Kids can be jerks. They fight, then they make up, and that's totally normal. We've been through our share of drama for sure with a 10 year old daughter. When our kid is the jerk we always make her apologize and work the problem out, and of course we talk to her about it and take appropriate action when necessary. But this is different.

Sometimes you or your child has a problem with another kid. When that child is a family friend, a classmate, or a neighbor, you're kind of stuck with them. That's happened to us before. But instead of banning our daughter from that person we just taught her to always be nice and include everyone. It's never ok to be mean or ugly, or leave someone out on purpose. Be a good example, and treat others the way you want to be treated.

Of course we're not perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, especially kids. But when we do make the inevitable mistakes we apologize and make it right. And if there was a problem I thought was really serious or dangerous, I'd try to talk the the child's parent's. We shouldn't hold a grudge against children.

Which leads me to the venting part of this post. What are you supposed to do when your child is being completely shunned by a whole group, including the adults? What do you do when another parent seems to think you're child is so awful that their kids may not even be around them, much less talk to them, and certainly not play with them. But suddenly anytime your kid goes out to play, everyone runs, sometimes at the apparent request of their parents. Sometimes they have to go in the house when your child is out. What if those kids also tell all the other kids not to play with your daughter, because she's "not nice"? (She is nice, by the way.) All of a sudden you're only child is playing all alone, just a short distance away from the rest of the group. She's told she's only allowed in front of her house because the other kids aren't allowed to interact with her at all. If any kid comes to play with yours, they are quickly told by another not to talk to her. Not wanting to be best friends with someone is one thing, but actively ostracizing another person is different. Trying to get the whole block to do the same is on a whole other level. What if this situation has gone on for 6 months? That's right people, SIX MONTHS. This is getting seriously old.

I also want to add that my daughter is the kindest, most thoughtful, sweet funny, talented, smart, AMAZING girl. Of course I'm required to say that, because I'm her mother. But she really is. She has lots of great friends in many other circles, especially at school and in the dance community, and never has any issues with them. Is she perfect? Of course not. She is an only child, so she can sometimes be bossy, and even a little selfish, and she definitely has a temper. Show me a child that doesn't occasionally demonstrate these traits. But she's also fiercely loyal, incredibly giving, honest to a fault, and an amazing friend. If you don't know her you're missing out.

I've heard about any and all events that may have led up to this surreal situation. My daughter and I have gone over every little detail, to see what she could have possibly done to warrant such a severe reaction. I know there have been arguments between kids. I've heard some of them, I also know they weren't earth shattering, and that there have also been apologies. I have racked my brain, and come up with nothing that could possibly explain this kind of behavior. And honestly, the more I think about it, I fail to come up with any situation in which treating a child this way is appropriate. Regardless of what happened, don't kids deserve forgiveness and second chances? And if the problem has to do with myself, or my husband, we have not been made aware of it. We don't even know these people, I don't know what their issue with us could possibly be.

I can tell my sweet daughter a million times how amazing she is, and not to let ugly people affect her, but when it's shoved in her face daily how can it not? Especially when adults are condoning it? Who treats a child that way? It's both infuriating and heartbreaking.

Either the parents are actively promoting this (which looks to be the case), or they're just ignoring it, either of which is wrong. I know you'll all tell me to go talk to the people in question and find out what the problem is so we can work it out. That's obviously the solution. Trust me, I've tried to work up the nerve to do that. The mere thought of confrontation makes me completely panic. Not to mention, I worry that if I do approach them it will only get worse. I really thought the issue would go away, as they usually do with kids (and should). But 6 months later we're still here. And it's honestly ridiculous, and doesn't seem like something that actually happens in real life.

In the end, my child wants to be done with this. She only wants to play outside drama free, minus the glaring looks and cattiness.

Thanks for listening! It may not seem like a big deal, and it seriously shouldn't be. But I imagine the effect on a child's self esteem can't be good when not only kids but adults are acting in this manor towards them. I imagine it probably makes you wonder if you really are that bad of a person. All I can do is reassure her that she is a good person, try to lift her up the best I can, and teach her a better way. I'm frustrated, sad, and pissed off. Sometimes you just need to vent on the internet. :)

xoxo, Summer

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I read every one, and love hearing from you! All replies will be in the comments section, so be sure to check back!

xo, Summer