Back in December, I wrote this post. As a parent, you talk and talk and talk about how to deal with situations that you yourself failed to deal with in any graceful manner when you were their age. I end the post by saying that we talked, (or I talked), she listened, but I wasn’t sure how helpful it was.
Well. In the last few months, I have seen a side of my daughter that has astonished me and makes me so proud. Astonished me, not because I don’t love her and trust her, but because I would never have imagined that a kid her age could be so self-aware.
While her best friend has avoided going to trips and fun events because of this particular mean girl, my daughter has been standing up to her. She stood up to her when she took her friend’s cookies (it sounds like a stupid, trivial thing, but in the life of an eleven-year old it takes the courage of Hercules to do that). She doesn’t want to sit with her, she doesn’t want to play her games. In fact, she told the mean girl that she would rather not be friends as “she does not feel like herself when she is around her.”
All this was done in a quiet, no-nonsense way, as if (gasp) my daughter didn’t need this girl’s validation. She wasn’t mean about it (I hope), and she did not make a big deal of it. She just refused, Bartleby the scrivener style (sorry, sometimes my English lit degree rears its ugly head).
Whoah. How did that happen? My daughter is confident enough to stand up for herself and for others. She is emotionally self-aware enough to know when she is feeling uncomfortable and brave enough to do something about it. She has enough emotional intelligence to make a break without crushing the other person.
Half of me, thinks my husband and I must have done something right. The other half just thinks we are unbelievably lucky. I think it might be a little of both.