Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is Winter Over Yet?

Blah. Blah blah blah.


Ok, here's a dilemma for you. What would you do if, say, you found out that your 8-year-old daughter, who is strong-willed, stubborn, and difficult - you'll be the first to admit it - has this friend, who is a bit older, in a different grade. But your daughter Capital-A Adores her. And you've just found out that this friend has said, not within your child's hearing, that your daughter is "fat" and "annoying." After spending hours at your house, sleeping over, being fed, coming to birthday parties, etc. And now your child knows it too.

I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should do anything. But this bugs me. And I also realize it says more about me and my insecurities than perhaps my daughter. I don't have many friends here, even after living here for 11 years, and I lack even one person I feel I can consistently turn to as a confidant. Except my husband, but, we all need a girlfriend to talk to sometimes, yes? I never had many friends growing up; I was very shy, which others translated as stuck up. I have a hard time making friends and I know I'm not easy to get to know. And yes, my daughter is a little chubby, but so was I when I was her age; she's also very tall, as was I. And yes, I'm lonely here. I'm afraid that my daughter will feel the same way I did growing, the same way I feel sometimes now - like she doesn't fit in, that she's different somehow.

And it makes me want to cry.

What would you do?


Monica H said...

It makes me want to cry too. I think at some point in time we were all teased or made fun of or called names. And it hurts, especially when you're that young and you don't understand.

SO your daughter knows this "friend" said these things about her? Or you're wondering if you should tell her? I'm a bit confused (but that's not hard to do).

Speaking from experience...don't say anything to that "friend" (you like how I keep putting her in quotation marks?) it's embarrassing. I'm sure your daughter already feels upset and possibly embarrassed on her own already. Just talk to her and tell her she's perfect the way she is and she'll find real friends who will love her for who she is. She'll be okay. And so will you.

niobe said...

Hmmm.... when my son was around that age, I would sometimes either make up stories starring either a childhood version of myself or made up characters where the characters were acting out (often in funny and extremely exaggerated ways) the dilemmas he was facing.

Then I would ask him how he thought the characters in the story were feeling or why they were doing what they were doing or what he thought they should do or (after listening to what he said) offer my own ideas.

That said, my son, now a teenager, has always been strong-willed, stubborn ad difficult, but he has never particularly cared about what other kids thought. So, I guess part of it depends on how sensitive your daughter is and how much she cares about others opinions.

Also (and I was a little confused by this) how did you and your daughter find out her friend said these nasty things? If it was through some third party, is it possible that the person who informed you was not exactly telling the truth or was just stirring up trouble?

Debbie said...

Oh, this makes my heart ache. :(

My daughter sounds like she is much like yours. She's tall and a little chubby, but I'm not worried about it. I do, however, worry endlessly about other kids being mean to her because she is bigger than them.

My instinct would be to put my momma bear claws out and to tell my child that I am sorry, but she's not allowed to play with XYZ anymore. I don't even know why I would tell her she isn't allowed, but I would want to protect her.

I'm sorry, I'm no help.

And yes, I get exactly what you are saying about how sometimes you just need a girlfriend to talk to. It's true.

Donna said...

This made me so sad... you described exactly how I grew up and how I spend my life now... I've never been good at making friends because I'm just to darn shy to get up the courage to actually talk to someone.

I don't know if there is really anything you can "do" about the situation - just keep telling your daughter how wonderful and special she is. Boost her ego and give her the confidence you never had. That's the best I can come up with...sorry it's not much.