Tuesday, January 27, 2015

School troubles

I'm not going to pretend like I haven't been absent for nearly a year.  I am going to address that by explaining that I have had computer problems and been busy with a full time job. 

But what I want to talk to you about today is school troubles.  Particularly little girl problems.  More specifically mean girl behavior aimed straight at my kid.

Lila is in 2nd grade now (I know, right?).  She likes school.  She does well and her teacher has told me that she is a pleasure to have in class.  Her teacher also told me that she is always willing to lend a helping hand or offer a hug to her classmates  She said that Lila doesn't seem to have time for all the little girl drama that goes on in the class and because of this Lila tends to be a little bit of a loner.

But lately Lila has been saying things that break my heart.  She told me that one of the little girls, who we will simply call A, has been being mean to her.  She says that A always tells her the she can't sit with her at lunch and tells the other kids not to sit with Lila.  She has gotten in Lila's face and told her to stop talking to other kids. Apparently A is one of the popular girls and everyone wants to sit with A.  Lila is really upset by this and I just don't know how to handle it.

I told Lila that she shouldn't want to be friends with someone who is mean and bordering on bullying.  I told her that she should sit with people who want to be her friend.  She told me that she doesn't think anyone does want to be her friend except one boy who she plays with at recess and whenever they have free time.  What makes this more upsetting for Lila is that in Kindergarten she considered A her best friend.  They used to play together and always sat together.  Now A is a little asshole to my kid and my kid has to walk around feeling betrayed by someone who used to be her friend. 

I spoke to Lila's teacher and told her that A was being mean to Lila and the teacher said she talked to A and that A admitted what she was doing.  The teacher told her to knock it off.  And for the last couple of days things have been better.  When I asked Lila how school went yesterday she told me that A let her sit next to her at lunch. 

This kind of pissed me off.  I don't know how to express to my kid that she is a perfectly nice kid and that she shouldn't tolerate this kind of behavior from someone.  How do I make her see that she doesn't need to be accepted by the cool kids to have worth?  Why is the pull to be with the "in crowd" so strong and at this young of an age? 

But this is only part of the problem for me.  My kid doesn't have any girl friends at school.  She doesn't have that one best friend who she hangs out with.  I have encouraged her to get her friends' phone numbers and we can call them up to come over but she doesn't seem to want to do that.  I worry that it is unhealthy that she doesn't have a best friend.  I did at her age.  I had 2 actually.  My friends would come over, we'd drag them along on family outings, we'd have sleepovers.  I want that for my daughter.  I don't know how to encourage her to make friends with someone at school. 

I wonder if this isn't because she is an only child. That leads to mommy guilt and I don't like that at all.  I have never had a lot of friends.  Maybe I am not a good model of how to be friends with someone.  I certainly don't know how to make friends.  The few friends I have are people I have known forever.  I too would like to make new girl friends but I have no idea how to go about it.  How am I supposed to teach her how to do it?

Maybe A will have a change of heart.  Maybe she will feel bad about her behavior and start including Lila in her play.  I doubt it.  I just need to find a way to build my kid up and teach her that she is enough regardless of who wants to sit with her at lunch.