Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mean Girls
When I was in school, I wasn't the cutest, most popular girl by a long shot. There were a couple of scary, tough girls who verbally picked on me. One fine day, when I was a sophomore (I think) I magically found the nerve to stand up to one of them. She looked like she was going to crap her pants and I never heard nary a peep from her or her WT friend again. Exhale. I have since learned not to take crap from anyone. Yippee!

The other day my daughter INSISTED that I let her eat breakfast before she brushed her teeth (OK, no problem with that line of thinking...) because Carly, the girl who sits in front of her on the bus, says she has yellow teeth and then acts like she's going to hit her. Oy. What ta do, what ta do. OK...here we go. I remember the school "food chain" all too well. What I now realize is that I can have some modicum of influence over where my daughter falls in the hierarchy. My mind picked over various responses to what my daughter had just said. I didn't want to give her ammo to RE-bully, but I don't want her to be bulldozed my this snot-nosed brat, either. Our strategy for now is to look the offender straight in the eye, point at her and say "You don't want to mess with me. Trust me".

I don't think she's employed the strategy yet, but we'll see how it goes. If that doesn't work, I'll be sending the bus driver a note. They have assigned seating.

I KNOW there are parents out there that either encourage their kids to bully, or don't intervene if they are aware of it. It's a sticky situation. I totally understand wanting your kid to be an Alpha, but not in a bad way, or at the expense of an underdog. The messages I give her now can really set the stage for years to come. I welcome any input to this quandary. This is my first Bar-B-Que, so if you have any ideas, I'll take 'em!

Random: I went and got my oil changed at Jiffy Lube this morning right after I popped into Starbucks. I bought 4 cans of DoubleShot Espresso and had them in my passenger seat. When I got home, I had 3 cans of DoubleShot Espresso in my passenger seat. Under the seat? Nope. Backseat? Nada. Jiffy Lube stole coffee from me. Awesome.

Great topic. My mother used to always "why do you care what they think?" whenever I was bullied. This only served as a double-whammy for me because then I felt stupid for caring. Of course I CARED - I was just a freakin' KID. Can you tell I haven't gotten over this 25 years later?

Which is exactly why I have thought long and hard on this subject. Now that I am older, I can see that a lot of bullying stems from the bully's own unhappiness. Can you try that tack with your daughter? Discussing reasons why the bully may be unhappy - maybe the parents are divorced, maybe your daughter has nicer things, is smarter, is prettier?

If you think about it - these life lessons move on into adulthood, too. Hands down, mean people are unhappy for some reason and often it has nothing at all to do with you.

Regarding the coffee - DUDE, that's just WRONG.
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