The other day I received a text from my daughter. She was in the school bathroom asking if I could pick her up. I asked her why? She replied she was having a bad day. With an hour left of school, I asked her if she was sick. She said no, but was crying and just wanted to come home. I asked her what was going on and why she was so upset? She relented and told me that one of her friends was being mean to her; being a bully.
This is not the first time I have gotten texts or calls of this magnitude from her. She tends to be overly nice and allows people to walk all over her. She doesn’t stick up for herself and doesn’t respond when someone says something mean. In the past I have told her that if she asks someone nicely a couple of times to stop and they don’t, she should punch them in the face. I know some parents are going to disagree and say that I am a bad mom for saying that and that I should not encourage violence.
As many of you know if you follow my blog or YouTube channel, I was severely bullied in middle school and in high school. I do not tolerate that kind of behavior at all and I don’t want my children to either. The way I see it, if you are going to repeatedly say nasty remarks to me or make fun of me then you need to be ready for the consequences. Seriously, mental abuse leaves longer lasting scares than physical!
One particular girl has constantly picked on my daughter since the day she arrived at this school. She calls her names, makes impolite remarks, calls her stupid and is just down right rude! At first I did the typical parent responses, “Did you tell a teacher? Ignore her. Kill her with kindness”, but nothing seemed to work. This girl has been relentless. About a year ago I told Rylee that if this girl continues to be nasty to her and Rylee asks her to stop twice and the girl doesn’t, she should punch her in the face. It has been a year and she still hasn’t done it. However, the “mean girl” has backed off a bit with her insults. They aren’t everyday anymore.
My daughter will likely never punch this girl in the face, but I want her to know that it is an option. I try to explain that if she punched that girl in the face one time that she would likely leave her alone. This girl is being nasty because she knows my daughter is not going to stick up for herself and she will not retaliate.
In the beginning Rylee would get so upset. As time has gone on, I have noticed a change in her. She will now stick up for herself and will respond when the “mean girl” makes a rude comment. Ultimately, I think this girl has realized that Rylee is not such an easy target.
I am so happy that Rylee has become more confident to stand up for herself to mean girls and bullies. However, she still has a very hard time standing up for herself. She has had a few friends over the last couple of years that just treated her terribly. They would be her friend one day and then the next day would be rude or ignore her all together. There were times when they would flat out tell Rylee that didn’t want to be her friend anymore and then the next day act like nothing happened. One girl even made Rylee sign friendship divorce papers! I mean seriously! What is this, Real Housewives of Barnstead? Then the “contract” was hung up on the outside of her locker and she would point it out to other kids and laugh. Rylee was devastated and didn’t understand why her friend would do this. Now, I am sure Rylee is not innocent in all of this. I am sure they had a fight about something stupid like clothes or a boy, but that doesn’t excuse mean and nasty behavior.
The day Rylee texted me to pick her up early, she ended up staying the rest of the day. I picked her up after school with her brother (who is also in middle school). I wanted to give her some advice to help her deal with this situation, but I needed more information. I clarified that this is not the first time that this particular friend has said she didn’t want to be friends anymore. This was not the first time she had said hurtful things to Rylee. So, I told Rylee “People will only treat you the way you allow them to treat you”.
This is where I got attacked in a mom group on Facebook. One woman told me that I was blaming the victim (my daughter) and that now she feels like she did something wrong. Another woman said that I should be building my daughter up and not tearing her down. What? Are you kidding me? Who the hell are these women? First of all, I am not victim blaming! I just want my daughter to realize this is a pattern and that if she continues to be friends with this girl then she is allowing this behavior. Here’s a simple example: If you have a boyfriend and you let him call you Betty every day, even though your name isn’t Betty, he will continue to do so. Unless you tell him to stop calling you Betty, he will continue to do so. It’s the same situation with Rylee. She allows this girl to be mean to her and decide whether or not they are actually friends on any given day. Ultimately, this allows the other girl to believe this is acceptable behavior. On the first or even second time this happened, if Rylee told her this was not okay things would be very different.
I know that you cannot control other people’s behaviors and actions, but you can definitely control how you react to them. If someone calls me a bitch and I allow it, they will likely think it is okay to call me a bitch again. In relationships you need to set clear behavior expectations. If that person does not hold up to those expectations, then it is time to let them go. When you are in a relationship, regardless of what kind, you need to make sure both individuals are getting what they need out of the relationship. If one person is making all the decisions and the other one becomes lost, then how is this healthy, productive relationship?
So, back to the lashing I got from the Mom Group… I was extremely infuriated by the comment about how I need to build my daughter up rather than put her down. How dare you lady? I tell my daughter I am proud of her, I love her, she is beautiful and that she is smart on a daily basis. I encourage her to try new things and I am right there with her through it all. We have a great relationship and we talk about all kinds of things. I want her to be confident and I want her to be successful. I want her to demand respect! I stand by the advice I give and will stand by it until my dying breath. If she is not being treated well and is being disrespected, I want her to think enough of herself to end the relationship. I don’t care if it is a friendship, a boyfriend or a spouse; she is a very bright, young lady and she needs to surround herself with people who are not going to dull her shine.
For all you moms in the mom groups judging everyone and riding in on their high horses, my daughter is going to be a successful independent woman and will not let anyone bring her down. If you want to let your daughter be a victim of bad relationships and you want to give her a false sense of reality about people, than that is your prerogative. My daughter, on the other hand, is going to know that it is okay to stand up for herself, it is okay to not be friends with toxic people and it is okay to demand respect. You can think what you want about my advice, but my daughter will always know her worth!