My older daughter is turning 12 in two weeks. For those of you that have been there you probably know the signs. Going from 0 to 10 on the freaking out scale for no reason. Stomping around her room because she has “no clothes,” and sometime I’m just waiting for her head to spin.
Honestly, I’m pretty lucky. For the most part she is an even keel kid with a good head on her shoulders. I think being a child with dyslexia has made her work hard for her grades and in turn she knows that hard work will get her where she needs to be.
She has had the same core group of friends since kindergarten or first grade. I feel blessed that they are good kids. But now it’s middle school and life is changing. I’m proud of her for standing up for her friends when people are unkind, and in general she really hasn’t had any girl drama…until now.
My daughter is a quiet kid. She is busy with ballet several hours a week and spends several hours studying to keep up with her peers due to her disability (which we never refer to as a disability in this house).
In the past few weeks there is a girl that has gotten upset if she doesn’t have enough of my daughter’s attention. For example, my daughter was talking to her friend abut something that happened on the bus and this girl cried because they were leaving her out. This girl cried when my daughter’s friend offered her some potato chips, and then decided they were no longer friends and she wasn’t going to talk to my daughter again.
My daughter came home upset but we talked about it and I tried to explain that there are girls like this at 12 and there are women like this at 40. If someone brings drama into a friendship, it’s not worth your time. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. She seemed good with that talk, until she heard from other friends that this girl was telling mutual friends my daughter was bullying her.
Now I don’t live in a glass house and my children are not perfect. Every person who knows my daughter has burst out laughing at this, because she is one of the kindest souls you could meet. My two other children struggle a bit socially and if they feel hurt, they have been known to come back with some not so nice things…we are working on that. Again, not a perfect family, but my shy middle child is not a bully.
I let it go because my daughter knows she’s not a bully. She has friends that know she’s not a bully and I believe that we need to let our kids try and solve their problems as much as possible. That was working well for me until today when I found out the mother is telling people my daughter is a bully and mean.
Now I will say things here with unnamed people that I would never say to people I know, but this mom should really spend more time paying attention to her daughter’s needs and cries for help than worrying about my daughter. When her child is texting girls at a party that she is going to kill herself because she wasn’t invited and the party host’s mom calls the mom worried…and the girl’s mom laughs it off, that’s a fucking problem.
Sometimes we need to look at our own situations before we start casting blame. I’ve done it with my own son. My son has pushed away friends because he doesn’t know how to fit in and when he feels hurt, I’ve wanted to blame the other kids, but I do know my son is very much responsible for his actions.
That’s not to say I’d ever condone a child being mean. But when this girl tells two other girls at a party that the song they are singing sucks, and my daughter tells her that is rude and that makes her cry, I’m sorry…that doesn’t make my kid mean.
And for heaven’s sake if you have a problem with my kid how do you think going to other moms to talk about her is going to help? Are you trying to enlist other children against her? Because that’s super mature.
I’m sleeping well tonight because at the end of the day, my daughter has at least three friends she knows she can trust and count on. She knows they like her for who she is and she like them just they way they are.
If I’ve done anything right through this it’s that my usually shy and sensitive child really understands this isn’t about her as much as it’s about the other girl’s insecurities. I told her she could ask the girl what it is that she did that made the girl not like her, but I doubt she’d get a straight answer. I left that up to her whether it’s worth doing.
At 44, I don’t do dramatic people who suck energy out of you if you aren’t paying enough attention to them. She might feel differently at 12. We all have to learn out own way.