Tuesday, January 29, 2013

mean girls

How do you bully-proof your kids?
I know that no kid is truly bully-proof--everyone deals with teasing, gossip, and being picked on by peers--but how do you prepare your kid for it?

Today while I was doing laundry and tidying up upstairs, the girls were busy downstairs with their own project. They gathered all the big throw pillows and chair cushions from around the house and piled them in the corner, then brought armloads of books and plopped down to read.

I think... not know, but think... that you prepare them by making  your home a haven from all the hardness and bad feelings in the outside world. A place where they can always feel secure in their own divine nature and just flat-out awesome.

It was my idea to add a fort. 
We used the fort kit that my sister-in-law Erin gave Tempe for her birthday and added the tunnel that Juno got from Santa as the entrance. Inside, our globe light added the perfect ambiance for cuddling and reading.

I think you prepare them for it by helping them build enough self-confidence to feel good about themselves no matter what others are saying about them. Enough self-confidence to step in and stand up for someone else who is being picked on--and to stand up for themselves and only surround themselves with friends that are nice and treat them well.

Normally I make the girls clean up their fort after a few hours or after dinnertime at the latest. Today we needed more time. More time to read books, send secret messages with walkie-talkies, cuddle, and be together. More time that hopefully reinforces self-confidence and a sense of security.

And if all else fails, have a movie night and watch "Mean Girls". 
That's my plan at least... what's yours?


Erin McAdams said...

I'm so glad you got good use out of the fort kit, and for a good purpose! I was bullied a lot as a little girl and I think that it's good to teach kids to not surround themselves with those friends instead of trying to make the bully stop being a bully. It's their own problem and there probably isn't anything you can do about it. I think it would have been less hurtful if I had taken this approach as a child, I spent a lot of time and tears trying to change kids so they would be nice to me instead of just ignoring them or telling them to go away and stop. Tempe and Lana are so confident and outgoing, I don't think they'll have too big of a problem. I was really shy and sensitive so I wasn't very good at standing up for myself, but you're raising confident and strong little girls, I love them so much!

Kate said...

Erin, it makes me so sad that you were bullied as a child :( But I agree that it's so important to teach kids not to bother with "friends" that are mean. I was the same way--I thought it was normal for my friends to make fun of me and be mean and even make me cry. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that is NOT OK! I don't want my kids to ever be mean back, but I hope they will just move on to someone else instead of wasting their time on someone mean.
They sure love you too!

Stephens Family said...

AMEN! We have been dealing with this lately and I have been wondering the same thing. And it's hard being the mom because you just want to scoop up your little girl and yell at the bully/unkind friend and say, "Can't you see how precious this sweet girl is? Why can't you just be nice to her and include her?" Auggh! It's frustrating! But I love your ideas and I think you've hit it right on. Your girls are kind and sweet!

Stephens Family said...

P.S. Super cute pictures by the way!