4th grade girls are mean. This morning, our daughter said that one of her two friends she’s made at the new school told her yesterday she didn’t want to be her friend any more. The girl told her last week that she HATED our daughter’s other good friend. Apparently the girl gave our daughter an ultimatum to drop the one or lose the other. Good for our girl for not giving in, but I so want to kick this other girl in the shins (and maybe smack her mother for raising a brat)!
I am neither high nor stupid. I DO understand that parents only have so much control over their kids words and actions, especially once they are no longer standing next to their kids giving them stink-eye every time the kid explores the boundary-line. I also understand that, at 4th grade, we are entering into a new phase of feelings of independence tempered with the start of very real hormonal changes that can influence behavior. That doesn’t make me feel any better about our daughter, who is new to this school at an age where many of these kids have been BFF’s since Kindergarten. I don’t regret switching schools. The quality of education, instruction and even the physical building itself are so much higher than the school our kids have spent the last four years in. It was a well thought out and executed plan to move our lives, our home and especially school.
We tell (and have told) our kids regularly:
1) Treat others as you’d like to be treated and
2) You represent your WHOLE FAMILY when you aren’t with us. Your actions reflect on all of us.
That is how I was raised.
My husband and I have also had a rule for ourselves since the kids were toddlers:
Don’t say anything in front of the kids that you wouldn’t want to hear them repeat in church.
We learned that one the hard way, but it has made a HUGE impact on the two of them. They speak kindly in word and tone (most of the time). I’m often accused of being too ‘vanilla’ because I don’t typically swear. Those who knew me in high school will attest that I could keep up with most any trucker in my speech back in the day. It was a conscious decision to quit cursing after one of our twins blurted out a ‘bad’ word in church. Now our son likes to ‘test’ words he hears on the playground at school by casually slipping them into conversation and waiting for our reactions. A common phrase around our house now is ‘Don’t go slipping THAT into conversation either!’
I know we’re heading deep into the stage where they’ll do what they feel like and deal with the consequences later, but I guess I’m not ready for this phase. In the mean time, I’ll bunker down in my ‘vanilla’ world a little longer.