I'm thankful that both of my "big" kids have teachers that have really open, honest communication. I was visiting school last week and Bella's teacher shared with me some insight. Bella got moved next to her best bud and then she made a comment that was hurtful. He had painted nails because he wanted to be like a famous pitcher. Bella didn't understand and said that it was "weird". Her teacher had a great conversation with her about words hurting and how she should understand how that feels.
Bella instantly felt sad. She didn't want to make her friend sad, that was not her intent. Instead of asking for clarification, she made the comment. She didn't intend to make him sad or have hurt feelings. After talking with her teacher, she understood and apologized.
This open communication with her teacher allowed me to be in on the story as well. That night we discussed how words hurt and how we need to be thoughtful with our words. We also talked about how sometimes things just come out and then we realize how they make people feel. That's the point when we need to apologize. Even if our intention is not to hurt, we must apologize because the person perceived the situation different than you did.
I can't control what comes out of my child's mouth. I can have a conversation with her about how certain words make us feel. She's truly learning how to express herself this year without blurting and she's really thinking after she says things... She's 7, sometimes she doesn't think before she says things... I mean heck, I'm 37 and sometimes I say things that I don't intend to be hurtful but they come out wrong or are perceived different than my intention.
She didn't understand why a boy would paint their nails. Heck, she doesn't even like her nails painted! We are a bit old fashioned with it comes to our kids and their attire or "look"... examples, No midriff tops or super short shorts. Which the short short thing is hard, because that's the style! Thank goodness for Goodwill! Our boys have short hair and we don't paint their nails. We don't care what other people do, it's just not something that we'll do. What's right for you, might not be right for us. I embrace and encourage differences. YOU have to find what works for YOUR family and we do the same.
Bella has also had some peers do very hurtful things or say very hurtful things this year. We have been trying to get a handle on it all. It's been a really trying year for her and for us as her parents. She's learning that she can't "fix" everyone and help them be nicer. She's learning about people needing space when they are angry, sad, hurt... We are also working to remind her to leave the bad and embrace the good.
I'm ready for summer. Not only for warm weather but also for a break. For a break from the routine of "real" school. For a break from the peers at school. For the opportunity to reconnect her with friends that weren't in her class this year. For the opportunity to have her all summer!
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