Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Not My Daughter
Bullying, Blows. And it's even worse when it's your kid being bullied.
I remember coming home, day after day, praying that my mom would stop working and stay home so that I didn't have to go to daycare anymore. I remember faking sick a lot, so that I could skip school.
I don't know that I had it worse than other kids, but I know that I was very sensitive to it. Their voices became the tape in my head that, for years, kept repeating the things they said to me. Long after they no longer cared enough to tell me I was ugly or stupid or useless, I had learned to say those things to myself. I became my own bully. Nice, huh?
So, now I have this little girl. Piper is 8 years old and so much like me that it hurts. She's all heart. She wants to be friends with everyone, and wants so much for people to like her. That's why she's an easy target for children who haven't learned that there are things to do to make you feel good about yourself that don't involve being an ass to other kids.
My parents didn't realize how bad the bullying had become for me. I'm not making the same mistake. I went down to Piper's school this afternoon and made her teacher sit down and talk to me about it.
We made a plan to help Piper get the attention she needs when this is happening in class. And her teacher switched her seat so she's not sitting next to her #1 Bully (because making her sit next to her tormentor is a crappy idea, in my opinion).
But this is one of those moments where I wish I could wrap her up in some kind of protective coating so that these things didn't hurt. I wish there was a filter that would only let her hear the things that were true about her, and not the rest. In the meantime, I'm going to make damn sure the school meets it's obligation to protect my kid.