I Told Him It's Okay to Be Different
My entire goal as Jordan's mom is to help arm her with the strength to grow old without pain and have the ability to stand tall and deal with people who may not say nice things about her difference. For years, she has shown how she lets little comments and stares slide.
She does not dwell on kids who might say mean things here and there. But when the bullying gets bad, she knows to complain. When it happens a lot, she tells Randy and me. After talking to her over the long weekend, we have a bully who won't quit.
She's told him time and time again, "It's okay to be different!"
I told her I think it's actually really cool to be different. And I'm SO proud of her for saying kind words when he is so focused on mean words. But sometimes, some people just do not want to hear what makes sense. They want to say what is mean. And that's really sad.
Jordan agreed with me, but the hard part is every time she tries to talk sense to the boy, he just keeps saying words that hurt. Most of the time, Jordan doesn't let the mean comments hurt. But when it happens too often, no matter what you do to ignore, it starts to hurt. And when it started to hurt, she (thank goodness) talked to me.
We talked to Jordan's teacher and she made sure the playground helpers were made aware of our problem. She's also making sure Jordan is never purposefully close to the child when they are in the classroom or walking in the hallways. Jordan says she noticed how there's more physical distance in class. It helps her feel better. It's hard knowing there is a child at school who is so deeply sad, he feeds off of any kind of attention. He knows negativity catches attention quickly, so he uses it more than kindness. I wish I could hug him if I knew it would help.
Mean people happen. Taking time to help Jordan know the adults around her will support her should help her feel safer. But we're getting to an age where just telling a child to stop being mean may not help. And even if you tell your child to ignore a mean person, it doesn't mean those words won't start cutting. I hope the efforts we've put forth at Jordan's school will help ease the pain and continue to make school one of her happiest and safest places.