January 18, 2011

Fine Line

I have an issue.  I am frustrated, mostly because my daughter is frustrated.  I've worked very hard to teach Hayley to be a good friend.  She knows it's always good to share with her friends.  She knows it's not nice to make fun of people.  She knows that it is never okay to be a bully.  She stands up for her friends.  She's gracious.  She's kind.  Hayley is a good friend. 

However, I think in all of this, she's forgotten to stand up for herself sometimes.  She's a people pleaser, like her mommy, and sometimes she gives in too easily.  And she's becoming frustrated.  And I've become angry and frustrated about it.  Now, there's the line between being the good friend that shares and not being the the kid that gets bossed around.  It's hard, for both of us.

And now, the hard lesson begins.  I know I have to stand up for my daughter.  That's the only way she is going to learn to stand up for herself.  She's afraid and I am afraid for her.  I want her to have friends, but I want her to have friends that make her happy.  And Hayley has some awesome friends; it's funny, her best friend isn't even a girl.  He's one of the coolest kids I know. 

That being said, it's not fair for her to be frustrated during playtime with some of her other friends.  Especially when she's just trying her best to be the nice polite girl I've guided her to be.  I don't understand why other parents don't teach their children these same lessons.  I don't understand why other parents believe it's okay for their kids to be bossy. Or those parents that makes excuses for their kids.  It's not okay.

But I also know it's not okay for my daughter to become a pushover.  It's something I am familiar with, I've had my share of crappy friends growing up (hell, some as an adult) and it took me a long time to learn that I deserved better.  I love that Hayley defends her friends when they're bullied by others.  I love that she is so kind and so thoughtful.  I love that Hayley knows that it is important to be a good friend and to be nice to everyone.  Now I just need to teach her that it's okay to stand up for herself, even if it upsets someone else.  I need to let her know that it is not okay for her to be bossed around.  She knows it's not okay to treat others that way, why should it be okay for someone to treat her that way.

So far, there's been a lot of talking between Hayley and myself.  (and Jonas.)  She knows that when she isn't having any fun, it's time to go home.  She knows that she should have friends that treat her the same way she treats people.  She knows.  I just hope she begins to act on it and soon.  I hope.


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