Now that we have dipped our toes into the extracurricular activities pool (dance and kickball) we are coming across new friends and lots of new personalities.
I am not a helicopter mom, I have always been the parent who keeps an eye on my kids, but I let them romp around playgrounds, approach new kids and live their lives without me hovering over their shoulders. I always (heh) know where they are and what they’re doing (for now) but I am big on teaching them independence.
The other Tuesday at Dance Practice, I thought it was over so I went and peeked my head in the door to see what was going on, I popped my head in the door just in time to see Princess and another little girl sitting facing each other on the floor in front of the mirrors. Just in time to see the other little girl spit in Princess’ face and say “I don’t even like you, I’m not your friend”
Princess paused and then got up and went about ‘freeze dancing’ with the other girls in the class.
I stood in the doorway with my heart seizing up in my throat. I debated for a minute, asked myself what I’d want a parent to do and then I turned around and walked back into the parent’s waiting area.
I am acquainted with the little girl’s mom so I pulled her aside and whispered to her what had happened, I started it out with an apology that I hate being a tattletale but, I would want to know. So, I calmly told her what happened and then watched her face turn bright red. Exactly what mine would have done if the roles had been reversed.
She pushed her baby into my arms and took off. 5 minutes later her very tearful daughter came and apologized to me and then to Princess. I was impressed. So many parents would not have responded in that way.
She and I ended up having a long conversation afterwards and the girls just sort of wandered and played.
My take: this little girl wasn’t being vicious, I don’t even think she really knew what she was doing or understood the true implications of her actions and words… regardless of that fact though, I think that at that point I had to stand up for my daughter.
As a parent, I would want to know if my daughter (or son) ever did something so atrocious and hateful to another child.
I may not be a helicopter parent, but I am an involved parent.
On the way home Princess and I talked about what had happened, I commended her on her response.
She said to me, “Yes mom, I walked away when she was being mean just like you always tell me to, but I forgot to tell her to ‘Have a Nice Day’ before I walked away.”