Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ugliness of the World

"Be kind to one another.
It is one of the greatest of virtues."
There are so many things that we have to worry about when we become parents. I wish I could hold on to Little Chick like I did when she was just a small baby in my arms and shield her from anything ugly in this world. Today we were at a birthday party for one of her friends and I saw some children who were not being nice to her. It bothered me. It bothered me all day. It bothers me now. It will always bother me! She just laughed and smiled and had such a nice time. I had to say something to these kids a few times. The teacher in me is always there, but now the Mama Bear is really in protective mode.

It made me long for those days that I just held her and sang to her when she was a bit fussy. I was there today to protect her from the "not so nice" children, but what about when she is in school. I remembered being the child that was always nice to everyone and I got hurt a lot. I would take all the pain in the world if it was a trade off to shield my daughter for a lifetime from the ugliness. I know that it is part of growing, but why? Why are children already mean at 4 years of age? They should be playing and giggling and simply having fun with one another. It is a lesson that I did not understand when I was a child and I do not understand as a mom. Did I cry over this today? Yes! This is the hard part about being a mom. We raise our children to be kind towards others. But how do we explain the children that are not so kind?

44 comments:

  1. Oh Mama Hen,

    You reminded me of the time Ben got smacked on his forehead (he was about 10mths old I guess) by a boy who is few months older than him. Ben cried obviously and the worst part is the boy's mum told us to scold her son instead of she doing her duty!

    Needless to say, we avoided contact with them ever since!

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  2. What a sweet picture! I think all Moms are over protective, I know I am.

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  3. Great Post! I can relate to it very well. It is so sad to see children hurt each other, and when they start school it gets worse. All I can say is be protective and teach your kids as much you can to stand up for themselves!

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  4. OOOh.. I just felt that. There is no doubt about it, kids are cruel. I wish I understood where it comes from, because, I was also a "sweet" kid.. and the bullies always want to break your spirit. Unfortunately, you have to let her forge her on trail.. goodness.. stay strong!

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  5. As a mom we feel our number one duty is to protect our children, but alas as you have discovered, our little ones have to learn life's little lessons independent of us sometimes. Ever heard the saying, "Every generation has to learn the stove is hot"? We can say "no, no" and "don't touch" all we want, but they really understand when they actually experience touching the hot stove for themselves. We teach our little ones kindness, but others just don't get it. Not that we want our children to be doormats to be trampled on by the rest of the world! Little Chick is obviously a well-loved little girl who will understand her self-worth and learn to stand up for herself and forge her own trail and refuse to be bullied by others. -EW

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  6. You are such a good mama! Little Chick is a lucky girl. :)

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  7. Yep, those mean kids!!! I totally understand what you are saying and I feel my very own "Mean Lady" come out when I see kids being not-so-nice to my children! I think that's just what our role as Momma is about - to teach and protect. And Little Chick is one lucky girl to have you looking out for her, and teaching her how to treat others. One at a time - making the world a better place!

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  8. Oh I remember those days! I once grabbed the little offender by the arm and dragged him over to his parents, practically losing my mind as i yelled, "Your kid is so bad!" Now when I think back, I'm surprised the parents didn't call the cops on me...but that little brat deserved it!

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  9. OH, so sorry. I also have the little quite girl, who loves the noughty kids... Wish I could stop her playing with them at kindy.

    I was also the kid who was nice to everone and got picked on at school. Never fun.

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  10. Great post! And I love the picture. I think Mom's/parents/people who love you/ are the answer to your question. God created it so we would always (hopefully) have someone there to comfort us when other's aren't nice. And by doing simply that, you help reinforce the positive behavior you are trying to teach your daughter.
    emily
    www.familyandlifeinlv.com

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  11. Argh, I can't stand the bullying meanies, even at four. What are their own parents teaching these children!! I'll tell you what, Mama, now is the time to teach Little Chick about how to stand up for herself and not let these type of children bother her. Resist the urge to protect her. I know it's hard, but she will learn young and develop some really good skills for dealing with things on her own so she'll be more than ready to cope with the school playground. Have faith.

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  12. Cousin, I am not a Mum, but I am a daughter and I have seen my parents go through the exact same thing you are going through - my Mum says that it never goes away, this need to protect your child from all the ugliness in the world... but you know what? My greatest life lessons have been the ones that I have had to go through myself - there is pain and frustration and anger and tears, but the strength, the courage and the goodness of heart that comes from all that is part of what we are. The things that Little Chick is going through now (the good and the bad) and the things that she will go through as she grows up and when she becomes a beautiful woman, are the things that will make her the person that she is meant to become. Those things, even the ugly ones, shouldn't be taken away from her, all of them will make her complete.
    I love you both very much,
    P.

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  13. I have been there too and it broke my heart when I saw the same things happen to my kids when they were much smaller but I think that as a result they were taught resilience and they know how to stand up for themselves as a result.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

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  14. Oh mama Hen, this certainly must be tough for mothers... i remember being hurt as a kid myself!

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  15. Oh No. I hope you're feeling better. I was the same way. Way too nice and people would not be the same. Some think niceness = weakness. But definitely not the case,

    I can't understand why kids at that age can be well, down right mean. It may be upbringing or the kids are still testing boundaries. We won't be able to shield out babies from everything. But we can have talks with them and go over what happened and explain to them what's right and wrong.

    I hope you're feeling better. Poor lil chick )=

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  16. I also have a hard time understanding why young kids are mean. The only thing I can think of is that they feel the same types of insecurities that adults feel - the desire to fit in and the fear that they won't. I'm glad you were there to protect Little Chick today. It gives her a good example of what she can say if it happens again. I can understand wanting to protect her - it's only natural! Hope your day today is better!

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  17. I don't remember kids being so mean as they are today. I'm not sure what's going on lately in the world, but I don't like it. :-(

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  18. This is something I am struggeling with too. My oldest was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a form of autism and he will be starting kindergarten in just a few weeks! I am terrified and have seriously considered just homeschooling him. I was homeschooled and it worked very well for me. I also know that for a child like my son, homeschooling will give him the oppertunity to learn at his pace and style. But I really just don't know. :( Being a mommy is just so hard sometimes!

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  19. oh, man, I know what you mean.

    When I became a mama, I thought I entered this club where there'd be an unspoken bond between me and other mamas. Turns out, others will be rude/mean no matter what. Because of their own insecurities, or how they feel about themselves. It's RARELY ever about us, or whoever is taking the brunt of their unhappiness.

    With kids, maybe they're watching their parents be like that to others? That's awful :( Jake is such a happy little guy, too; I don't want him to have to endure anything hurtful! But, I guess the only thing we can do is teach them how to handle it. Oy....or put them in a bubble!! ;-) hehe

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  20. I think we are all so protective of our children and never want to see them hurt, EVER. She is a beautiful girl with a fabulous mother, so just show her that sometimes children are not so nice. sad but true, right? As a former teacher too, I remember wanting to cry for children that felt "left out", I always did something that day to make that child feel on top of the world! Never wanted a child to feel "less than" ANYTHING! You are such a great Mom!

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  21. Every time I come to your blog, I'm stunned at what a great mother you are. With you on her side, Little Chick is going to be just fine. But it is so sad that kids so young can be so mean now. I feel like the meanness is happening younger and younger all the time.

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  22. Mama Hen, I totally get this and had a similar experience months ago and you really helped me through it. It's so hard to see your little ones mistreated and you want to protect them from everything, but this is a part of growing up, and the best thing we can teach our children is to love all of their friends, appreciate their differnces, and stick up for those that can't defend themselves. I have a feeling that Little Chick will do exactly that!

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  23. Hi Mama Hen,
    I can imagine how hurtful you felt and hope you are feeling much better now. My little Isabelle is only 15 months old and I am already dreading the thought that when she goes to school or nursery one day, I will cry my eyes and heart and lungs and whatever I've got out. It is painful to know she will be out there alone, with no shield. But I know I can never protect her enough and can never be there for her all the time. Guess I will just have to teach her to protect and stand up for herself.

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  24. This is such a hard one. She's too young to understand that not all children come from loving homes and feel secure and loved. I think that so much meanness comes from those hurting, insecure, unhappy. Your little chick can be such a light of kindness to those other kids.

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  25. My children all have a gentle nature, and I always felt it was important to foster that. My middle son is very active and would naturally gravitate towards other active children who seemed to be rougher. I protected him when necessary, but I also tried to help him understand why others were bullies, how to draw the line to protect himself without hurting others back.

    Now he's 21 and I am very proud of him. He has reached out to those bullies over the years and tried to help them because he understood that they were hurting. He knows that anyone can love the loveable, but it takes a special strength of character to love & be kind to those who are more difficult to love. Somehow he has found the balance between keeping his gentle nature and standing up for himself and his younger brother. Being 6 feet tall with a scruffy beard from grade 7 has helped too!

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  26. My lil Alie doesn't get a lot of "other kid" interaction. I am a stay at home mom so she doesn't go to daycare and being in phoenix az where it is 900 degrees outside we don't go out much. When we do take her somewhere where she can play with other kids, I always worry about this. She's been pushed a few times and she just continues playing with a smile on her face. Once a little boy hit her. It kinda scared me a bit on how much I wanted to attack him. I can't stand to see her hurt or see anyone treat her like less than a princess. I am so thankful that she is sweet and friendly. Most of the time she just has a great time with the other kids. BTW I LOVE that pic. I miss those times too. I just weaned her from breastfeeding about a month ago. I miss those moments of looking down into her beautiful eyes while she fed. I still have milk....is that weird?? Sometimes I actually have to fight extra hard NOT to give in and feed her!

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  27. Just like you, I am raising my son to be sweet, loving and thoughtful. Just like I was as a child, and feel I still am.

    Unfortunately, there is an amount of "toughening up" that will take place over a sweet child's lifetime (like us now, I'm sure you know) I think it's horrible that it has to be that way. That so many other people don't care enough or know better to raise their own children to be sweet hearts and our loving babies suffer it.

    I think you are right to stand up for your daughter when you see these things happen, because your action will teach her how to stand up for herself as well.

    http://organicparenthood.blogspot.com

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  28. I totally understand this and I think it comes from parents not doing something when they are young young young. Like 1 and 2. I am a caregiver for 2 other children along with my own son. So I have three toddlers in my house 5 days a week and one little boy I have from somewhere learned how to hit. It really bothers me when he hits the other kids and I can't fathum how a 16 month old learned how to hit. And due to this behavior which I scold every time, my baby has started hitting. So I hope to curb this behavior soon so my child can be the kind one, not the mean one on playgrounds at school. Its hard as a parent. I feel ya.

    Mommy Only Has Two Hands!

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  29. I completely agree. My son just started his 2nd year of school. Last year I hated when he would come home and say someone wouldn't play with him. I think it upset me more than him though.

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  30. You're such a sweet mommy!

    You're right. People should be teaching their children to be nice to EVERYone, and not to be the bully. Good for you for raising Little Chick to be such a doll!

    Great pic by the way. Hope you have that one framed. :)

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  31. Thank you for following me! I follow back. I'm off to visit your network!

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  32. Oh Mama Hen I'm sorry. I hate it when that happens! Sounds like she has the confidence to handle those situations and if she doesn't she will let you know. I have to think their parents are fine with it, thus creating our next generation of bullys. The parents of those kiddos should be reading your blog!

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  33. I LOVE the nestwork and have been taking a lot of time working on my blog that is helping Momma's like Me and You keep ourselves and our children healthy, so I thought you could add some "workout blog" or "nutrition blog" section to your nestwork??! If not, no pressure, just thought it would give Mom's a chance to find help that they may need if they struggle to find a balance between motherhood and exercise and health! Thanks so much!

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  34. Well great news, THANKS! I'm on the mom blog section, but if you start the new section, add my other blog please...http://www.letsmoveitmommas.blogspot.com

    THANKS SO MUCH!!! Yay, hopefully I can spread some motivation to all the Momma's out there!

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  35. I talk about this soooooo much....in my blog and in person. I was a very passive child so a huge target for bullies most of my childhood....and now...It is probably one of the single most difficult things I deal with in having my own children. My oldest is always getting picked on for being different and my youngest has been overhearing unheard of stuff since preschool and as of recently become the victim of it herself, being called fat at school and stuff. I HATE it and it hurts me deeply and at one point I even considered homeschooling. I know some say " you can't shelter them " and " its part of growing up " but i like you say " WHY? WHY have we excepted that its part of life or part of childhood even!!!??" I still don't except it and trust me I struggle about this all the time. I too am often near tears or in tears over the things my kids come home and tell me they have had said to them...and it's hard when you have taught them to be good people, but to also teach them to have a thick skin. Shouldn't have to have a thick skin...Not as a child....I feel for you hun....wish I could say it gets easier once school starts...but it doesn't.....Just know that you will always be her ' safe place '..her soft place to fall & the love you have for her and things you instill in her will carry her through the tough times..

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  36. Kids have no respect these days.. i'll never understand why some parents don't punish?!

    I saw your post on my site about Fish Oil...
    I do a fish oil with a high omega 3 that is the key to no nausea.. 300mg omega 3 ... 1200mg fish oil, i'd start with 1 or 2 a day and work my way up to maybe 3 or 4 a day. take them in the morning with food and you should be ok. :) good luck!! :)

    thanks for stopping by and beautiful picture!! i miss holding my babies!! they aren't babies anymore :(

    Aimee

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  37. I am new here and just read your post. Your daughter seems to be mature at this age when handling events as these. Good for her. Unfortunately, we need adversity to make us stronger. Sometimes when it comes from a sibling, that hurts more but even then, it is a learning tool. I am sure you spoke to her on her little level about it. That's the best thing to do; giving her tools for next time and confidence for future. You should be very proud of how she handled herself and at such a young age.

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  38. Oh, I have been there. It bothers me so much when something like that happens. As a matter of fact, it reminds me of something that happened at the grocery store the other day. Can I link to your post? I am going to use it as inspiration for my next post.

    Hang in there. Unfortunately this will not be the last time and as Mama Bear's this will undoubtly continue to bother us (sometimes maybe even more than it bothers our children).

    Happy weekend.


    HRH Mommy
    http://mformommy.blogspot.com

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  39. Just wrote the post:

    http://mformommy.blogspot.com/2010/08/be-polite-to-my-toddler.html

    HRH Mommy
    http://mformommy.blogspot.com

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  40. Oh, so sad, breaks my heart. It just scares me to think I won't be there to protect them from meanness. At least we can always be there to comfort them.

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  41. I have never understood mean people - children or adults. Thankfully, the older I get, the more they do seem to be in a minority. I'm sure Little Chick will find her own way to ignore them, in time.

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  42. I struggle with how to handle this myself -- and it makes my heart just hurt to see kids being mean to others. My girls tend to be quite reserved and almost shy initially around other children, so working on standing up for themselves is a topic we talk about quite a bit. There have been a few times I have stepped in (the teacher in me too ..... ), but figuring out the balance of when to and when to let them work through things is so hard.

    I got tears in my eyes reading about Little Chick. I'm so glad she still had a big smile on her face : )

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Jeremi

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  43. This post brought back so many memories of my childhood. I too was the kid who was nice to everyone but got hurt a lot. I still don't understand why some people go through things like that while others don't. I would give my arm to keep my boys from being teased and hurt the way I was when I was young. The thought of trying to teach them the balance of being nice to others yet not allowing others to walk all over them is really hard! I am glad that Little Chick smiled right through it all. It looks like you are doing a great job already, because she seems to have the right confidence in herself to not let those mean kids get to her!

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  44. This is something I am so worried about. You definitely want to protect your kids from everything & other kids can be SO awful!!! It's gotten worse with cyberbullying & stuff like that as they get even older. I'm super nervous about that stuff. I'm not sure how to handle this & how to not let that mama bear instinct fully kick in.

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