There are few things that bring out the mama bear in me, teasing is one of them. A little kid teasing my kid is just too much. Monkey hasn't had to deal with it yet, he's only in preschool, kids don't tease and if they do he hasn't been the brunt of it. Everyone's friend and oblivious to most things around him, Monkey wouldn't be bothered by a few teasing comments and the kid teasing would leave him alone.
Not true with Sunshine.
Sunshine is just that. A ray of Sunshine that is sweet and innocent. Now I'm not saying my child doesn't get in trouble or doesn't do her fair share of fighting with her brother, but suggest that she may have hurt someone's feelings and she will break down in tears. Things are not supposed to be yanked from people and manners remembered. In return, she expects the same courtesy and respect-don't we all?
So when a peer is not nice it doesn't make sense. Why would someone do this? Why was this random boy at the bouncy area taking this toy? Even worse though is when a friend, or someone she thought was a friend, isn't nice. Her heart breaks a little bit more with each comment. Sweet, confused, easily upset, and innocent, she makes an easy target.
Like everything, there is a hierarchy and sadly, in first grade the mean kids are on top. Fear of being told they won't be allowed to play on something or with something will keep these targets playing with the mean kids, only encouraging their behavior. Comments beginning as, "You have to do this if you want to be my friend." escalate to "I thought you were my friend." to complete teasing and making fun of the child that questioned them. After all, questioning can lead to one thing and one thing only, complete revolution and walking away with all the other kids that are still willing to follow in their shadow.
Unfortunately, Sunshine's been being teased. It started in November with a boy. I'll call him N. In November she and N had been playing with about 6 other kids. He would make random comments that began with her glasses. Still believing they were friends, she didn't mention it for quite a while and when she did she was in tears and all sorts of comments came spilling out.
Along came her birthday and N had not been mentioned except in passing. They played together as a group and she told us about the obnoxious stories (absolute lies) that he claimed were true. Not understanding why a friend would lie to her when she questioned him, she was willing to believe him.
Unfortunately, the small jabs had continued and I had not known about them.
Recently the comments have been about her lunches. This makes no sense to me except that being different and not standing up for yourself makes you easy prey for children with low self-esteem and N , T, ( T is in the "I thought you were my friend" stage) and S, have decided to make fun of her healthy lunches. Tomatoes, dried bananas, and other vegetables, are disgusting and why would she eat them? She tells them they're good and they should ask their mom to buy them. It's unfortunate the school doesn't allow sharing, although I doubt they would admit they liked the bananas. Now she doesn't want to pack those snacks because she is worried about upset about what they will say. When asked what they bring for lunch, cookies, popcorn, and candy are always on the list. They also tease about what she watches on TV. Also extremely unfortunate since I know what shows they are watching and I'd rather not have my daughter watching them. Her 2 younger brothers are in the same room and they don't need to be exposed to them either.
So I tell her she needs to ignore them and tell a teacher, be it her teacher or the teacher in the lunchroom or playground, as well as ignore them. Yesterday she comes home, proud of herself for the first time in a while and announces that she ignored N. He tried to tell her another of his tall tales and apparently she just ignored him. When he attempted to get her attention, she gave him the cold shoulder. I hope she remembers to also tell a teacher, she can still hear those comments and I don't want her to develop a low self-esteem, but for now she is standing up for herself and that is something she will need to be able to do for the rest of her life.
I still don't like the kid and wish he moved - just like her told Sunshine he was doing. I have a feeling the story of N and S moving in together to the city is just another story though.