Saturday, September 27, 2014

Missing My Daughter's Smile 4.14.14

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I am the mom of my daughter who is in fourth grade. She is cute and funny and sweet. One day her teacher told the class to “expand their horizons” and sit with other children during lunch. So my daughter did just that.  She was surprised when her three best friends got mad at her for doing that. They had a sleep over and called to tell her that she was not invited. She was crying for two days and wouldn’t go to school.  When she finally did go to school, I walked her to her class and those girls got other kids to make fun of her. One of the girls accidentally (supposedly) spilled her lunch all over my daughter. She had to come home and change.

Even the new girls she sat with didn’t want her to sit with them because they said she really doesn’t like them. They told her that she should go back and sit with her old friends. She was very humiliated and confused. She was trying to be the nice girl she has always been.  I told the teacher and the teacher said she will have to work these “things” out on her own! I was surprised to say the least.

My daughter doesn’t smile anymore, won’t go to her ballet class and hardly eats. I’m so sad for her.

Missing My Daughter's Smile

Dear Missing My Daughter’s Smile,

Thank goodness you are your daughter’s mom and you are being very compassionate.  All children do have to find solutions for their lives; however, this is beyond the usual problems a young girl encounters at her age. Your daughter is being ostracized, ridiculed, and betrayed by mean girls.  Her behavior shows she isn’t bouncing back to her regular activities which could greatly help her from being depressed. Especially her ballet exercise and expression. That activity alone may be very cathartic for her.  Her ballet class could help empower her and help her to stand tall, physically, emotionally, and mentally. She needs that to show others and herself that she has control over who she decides to be.

Explain to her that when she walks tall and genuinely smiles that she will be less vulnerable to the isolation, hurt, and sadness inflicted by her former friends. Help her to reach out for new friends in her ballet class and ask her to find new friends at church or in other activities she may want to participate in.  Go to your school’s Principle and get her school involved or change schools if necessary. Take her to a therapist for both of your sakes.  The agony of what you went through doesn’t need to be compounded by someone else who needs help also. Tell your mom so she can gain the tools to help. Tell her in front of your therapist so you may both benefit from professional help in going forward.

You are doing your best. Try to continue listening to your daughter, but help her to come out of her victim stage by defining herself through her talents (internal too.. Such as her sweetness) and not degrading these girls… Which only keeps her stuck as a victim.  She will become a stronger leader in our world by her diligent work on defining herself and trying to see the beautiful girl she is.  Ask her to try to see herself and others through the eyes of God so she may forgive those girls and feel free from their damages. Who knows how they may have also experienced pain through bullying and abuse from others (which does not excuse their actions but allows understanding).

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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