Ten years ago I almost gave birth in the hospital parking lot. Flashback to a few hours earlier that morning: I wasn’t even sure if I was in labor. I had to crack open my copy of “What to expect when you’re expecting” to check my symptoms. And check it again. Thankfully I made it into the hospital in time to start pushing before my doctor bothered to check in on me.
Back then I thought that a book would hold all the answers to raising this child. I threw the books out a long time ago when I realized that wasn’t the case. We are learning this together as we go along.
She couldn’t wait to be born into this world. I say that she has been impatient since the day she was born. In a hurry to be born and in a hurry to grow up. To me, she looks like she grew from 5 to 10 overnight!
She decorated her own cake. She also had a sleepover with 5 other girls. Of course, there was girl drama. There always is. Three of the girls made my little girl cry. The specifics don’t matter. The fact is, they were saying mean words.
Whoever said, “Sticks and stones my break my bones but words will never hurt me.” was never a girl.
I had to lay down the rules. “Girls, you need to remember we are a guest in our home. It is her birthday, so whatever mean things have been said, you better get up, and get in there and make it right. Now.” Yeah, I am pretty sure they don’t care for me much. But they did get up and move quickly and smooth it all out.
I am convinced of this: part of the reason girls think it is okay to show their “mean girl” side is because parents allow it. How many times have I witnessed this behavior in friends’ homes and they did nothing? Or, worse, they said something like, “work it out”. What does that even mean? How would an 8, 9 or 10-year-old know how to “work it out” if you, the parent, don’t show them? Or, if you appear to tolerate the behavior or don’t care that it is going on? They will think it is okay.
I don’t tolerate it in my home. If they had made another girl cry, which has happened on more than one occasion, I have handled it the same way. By letting them know that it is unacceptable.
I haven’t read a book on this subject either. We are figuring it out as I go along.