Monday, September 20, 2010

Broken crayons, dehydrated marshmallows and a speech impediment.

My dear, sweet daughter.  I love her so.  I truly do.  When she is exposed to peer pressure and gives in, even though she admits that she knows better, it hurts.  When people make fun of her, it hurts me as much as it hurts her. 

So, y'all might remember the crayon incident of last year.  This year has given us a lunch sharing incident.  The lunchtime rule last year was absolutely no sharing.  It seemed to be a reasonable rule to me.  Apparently, it wasn't carried out across the board.  I'll tell you why I think so in just a minute.  So, K- knows about the rule.  She followed the rule to the letter last year. 

She had a harder time with that this year.

She has a friend that likes to share bits and bites of her lunch.  Don't get me wrong, generally sharing is a good thing, but when a rule is a rule, we must follow.  K- would tell me that she shared bits of her lunch and the other shared bits back.  I first started with some gentle reminders.

"K-, you remember that is against the rules, right?"

"Oh yeah!"

The next day, rinse and repeat.

"K-, I expect you not to share your lunch tomorrow."

The next day, rinse and repeat.

"But K- you know it is a rule that you aren't allowed to share."

"But mommy, I didn't even get caught."

Hmmm.  Like a knife right through the heart.  My child knew right from wrong but still chose the wrong path. 

"K-, this may seem harsh, but if you share your lunch tomorrow with B-, you will lose your TV.  I understand that you don't like the rule.  I understand that it may be a rule that you don't want to follow, but there are rules that B-'s mom and I have to follow that we don't want to." 

The next day, she did not share her lunch.  The last time she shared it, she did so because she was told that she wouldn't be their friend anymore if she didn't.  (Her friend had a fondness for the dehydrated marshmallows in K-'s S'mores Goldfish cracker mix.)

A knife straight through her heart.  If you really want to take my only child down to complete compliance, tell her that you won't be her friend.  She'll walk through fire to keep a friend.  In some ways, that is good.  It is good to be kind, patient, loving and understanding.  It is not good to sacrifice what you know is right from wrong just to retain a friendship.

But she's only 6.

So the sharing thing, I think that her class was so strict on the no sharing policy because of a peanut allergic child.  I didn't come to that conclusion until after the whole threat of TV loss bit happened.

Then their is K-'s speech.  Her progress has been great.  Truly, she is in much better shape than she was last year.  Over the summer, she ended up sliding on her "sh" a little.  It is a hit and miss.  Her "r" tends to be "w." 

We had gone on a play date at a friend's house the other day.  These are our friends that moved back from Wisconsin.  K- and E- have been friends from the very beginning.  The girls are 7 weeks apart and even though they experienced 4 years of intermittent play, they always rolled back into playing like they had been together yesterday and the girls truly have never missed a beat-- ever. 

They were outside playing and E-'s neighbor friend had come to talk.  She is 5 and in kindergarten where E- attends school.  When we were on our way home, it seems that fence girl was making fun of K-'s speech.  I have to say that K- has become a bit more upset when that happens.  I told her that is why she visits with Mrs. D- and that Mrs. D- is doing a good job of pulling all of her words around.  I told her about how sorry I was that she was made fun of.  "Well mom, at least I'm not Chinese."  "You mean speak Chinese?"  "Oh, yeah!  That's what I meant!"  (So as not to offend, most people here only speak English.  We have very little exposure to other languages where we live.  Yes, it is unfortunate.) 

We want K- to grow up and know that she is good enough, smart enough and that people like her.  (Yes, channeling Stewart, even though that is my husband's thing.)  We don't want her to go against what she knows is correct just to retain a friend. 

I don't expect her to be perfect.  I suppose that I wouldn't want her to be perfect.  I just want her to be her-- quirks and all.

We want her to stand up for herself, but we don't want her to be over-powering and rude.  We want her to continue to be considerate and kind, not hard-hearted. 

Any words of advice?

Smiles in my weekend:
-  K- got her flu shot on Friday after school at the Walgreen's Take Care Clinic.  The best part?  With only a whimper, she got the shot and it was all good.  Last year, it took 5 very big women to hold her at the city Health Department H1N1 Flu Shot Clinic.  When I explained to the LPN on duty the massive improvement (yes, I had tears in my eyes as I was so happy and incredibly relieved), she gave K- a pencil for a job well done.
-  K- tagged along with me to the Women's Ministry Brunch yesterday.  Though she was the only child there, they were happy to have her and she behaved spectacularly. 
-  K- tagged along with me this evening to choir practice.  We went immediately after soccer. In fact, we had to leave a few minutes early from soccer to make the trek back across the county-- from the northernmost to the southern end-- and I sat my fanny down in the choir loft at exactly 4:30 PM.  She played with the kids and one 22 month old followed K- everywhere she went.  In fact, we had a salad and dessert dinner all together and J- sat right along side K- and loved it!  We were able to have a nice time visiting with some folks that I don't normally get to talk to.  K- kept J- occupied and we left well fed.

Have a great day!


Rach said...

I do feel sorry for K. Peer pressure is SO hard to deal with, especially when one is still young.

However, you are absolutely right, rules are made to be followed and to keep us safe and K needs to respect that--no matter how difficult the situation.

:sigh: I just wish childhood were easier somehow. Especially since kids can be so cruel to one another. Don't you wish you could just wrap them in bubble wrap and protect them from all the cruel and hurts in the world?

I used to weep on the inside when Han would tell me someone didn't want to play with her, or made fun of her, or wouldn't be her "friend". It was awful. I sympathize with you, I really do.

Jamie said...

Maybe you could tell her why it is against the rules to share food. My Girlies are more likely to break a rule if there is nothing to back the rule up. Tell her straight up that there are kids that may get sick if they eat something that isn't theirs. She's old enough to understand that, having been though her own sicknesses and whatnot. And she's kind enough not to want to make someone else sick, even by accident.

Unfortunately, you'll have the teasing and picking on - girls are vicious and it only gets worse as they get older, believe me. I've taught my girls to ask the person picking on them why they are doing it. (Yes, we do a lot of questioning of things in our house, but you know me and you know why I am that way). For example, a couple years ago a girl would constantly bang her locker door into B's arm on purpose when they were getting their books. I told B to ask the girl why she was doing that. Of course the girl had no reason so B told her that if she didn't have a good reason not to do it. And she did. This doesn't always work but it is a good way to get a person to think.

I think this adaptable for K. You could tell her how to respond and then role play with certain situations to get her to use the lines without feeling mean or powerless in those situations. Of course tell her that other people picking on her really doesn't have to do with HER as much as it does with them - remind her that others pick on people to make themselves feel better or to get attention. I'm betting that fence girl was jealous of the attention the friend was getting and felt left out.

Bailey's Leaf said...

I can tell you that K- is aware of food allergies, but has let her guard down this year because there were no food allergies in her class. Why am I eeked out about sharing? Well, besides it being against the rules, I don't know people's food keeping practices. I know that it sounds bizarre and germaphobic of me (I have germaphobic tendencies), but it's true. Did they have clean hands when preparing the lunch? Have the foodstuffs been around forever? Are the chips from a communal bag that 10,000 hands were in before they were and now they have the germy chips in their lunch? Oh, it opens up a giant can of germaphobic worms.

You know, I completely agree with you on having K- ask why. I've taught her to tell them that it wasn't nice, but in the situation of the dehydrated marshmallows and the tongue being stuck out at her (which I think I accidentally omitted), they were on yellow because the lunch room had been too loud, so the kids weren't to talk. She did follow that rule, but broke the other of no sharing.

We've had a lot of talks while walking. We talked a lot about another little girl who seemed to be very instructive. K- told me on her own that she thought that M- was jealous. (Not in a mean tone.) She told me why she thought that way and I told her that I agreed with her. I told her that while she probably wouldn't do that great with telling her that, I agreed and she needed to remember that.

I also agree that kids are cruel. Girls can be mean. I just hope that my soft-hearted kid doesn't harden because of dumb crap.