Just ran a fabulous, hilly 4 and I feel wonderful. This song is stuck in my mind. I love it. And it bears a significance to me right now, as I reflect on the past few months in the life of our daughter, a 6th grader. She’s found “the greatest love of all” this year. Maybe you’ll understand better when you read the story.
Over the past few months, my husband and I have learned about our daughter’s struggle to confront a bully in her school. Good news is that she did it. Now she’s establish herself with a group of happy and helpful friends who believe in the goals she’s setting for herself for the end of the school year. Her strength to move away from the bully didn’t come from watching role models of mean girls on tv or today’s mean girl movies. She didn’t read about what to do in the “chic lit” stories that the bully loves to read. And candidly, she didn’t follow any specific advice from me or my husband. We had no idea that she was even being bullied. But something we’ve been saying did help to spark her inner voice. This, coupled with a few anti-bullying initiatives at her school, seemed to help her identify the bullying problem.
See, we always discuss with our kids how important it is to choose good friends. We’ll ask them, “Which friends are helping you become the best ‘you’ that you can be?” Well, this year, as our daughter started to meet some new girls in middle school, she found herself thinking about her friends. She started to evaluate which ones were helping her become the best kid she could be. I find this amazing. But this is what she tells us. Then, her school started to educate the kids on what it means to be bullied. So she found herself struggling with her friendship with a girl who, unbeknownst to us, constantly degraded her, insulted her, and started even physically pushing her. Sometimes she was nice. Most of the time she created havoc. Our daughter came to realize that this girl who she had known for years, wasn’t a friend at all. Our daughter realized, on her own, that she was actually being bullied. She told me that she thought to herself, “I don’t have to put up with it anymore.” And she spoke with her school counselor and made arrangements to be moved away from the bully. My husband and I did notice a dramatic change in our daugher: She became happier. More fun. Nicer to her siblings. Started doing better in school. Wearing more creative clothing. And now she’s even taking better care of herself. Unbelievable.
Now that we know the whole story, we’ve gotten involved with the school, with our daughter’s ongoing interactions with the girl, and to an extent, even the family. It turns out, this girl had been bullying more girls than just our daughter. The parents seem incredibly surprised at their daughter’s behavior. And since we all agreed that it does no good to allow anyone to continue behaving this way, the family responded quite pro-actively. Hopefully this experience will end up having a positive impact on many more than just our daughter.
So you see, it’s been an amazing few months.
May your next run be a good one.