Thursday, 19 September 2013

My daughter's guide to dealing with troublesome boys

It's something that most parents dread; hearing that your child has been singled out by other children, and teased.  This happened to my daughter in her very first week of school. And here is the story of how my four year old girl dealt with it.

Day two at school can be so much harder than day one.  There's so much build up to the start of school; so much excitement - a new uniform to put on, a bright red school bag to proudly clutch, a shiny new hair band to wear.  Day one is full of possibilities.

Day two and reality strikes a little, "yes Roh, you have to go back to school again today".  The uniform becomes a little less enticing, the book bag has it's first scuff, and she wants to wear the hairband with the big pink flower, not the boring navy one.

And it was upon collection on day two that she told me the story of the boys who had picked on her.  "Some boys were gunning me today mummy," she tells me.  [Gunning being making guns out of your hands and pretending to fire them at you.]  "They were gunning me then they kept pulling my ears," she starts to falter.

"Oh no, what did you do?" I ask.

"I put my hands over my ears," she replies.

"And did that work?" I ask, my blood pressure rising.

"No," comes the response.

"So then what did you do?"

"I told them to stop."

"Did they?"

"No."

"Then what did you do?"

"I roared at them," she tells me, a little smile starting to creep into her eyes.

"And did that work?"

"Yes, mummy," she says proudly.

When Roh says she roared at them, this meant a very loud, very fierce roar, reserved usually for only the most frustrating of arguments with her big brother.  So she had stood tall, and up close and RRROOOOAAAARRRRRRED.

Later that day she tells her big brother about the events.  Big brother listens quietly, absorbing every detail, then asks, "What were their names, Roh?"

"I don't know," she replies.

"Well if they do that again, ask them their names.  Then tell me their names.  And then I will see what I can do." Her big brother is 7.  And by way of a premonition I see his clean sheet, gold star record, turn to dust, as the arrival of his little sister to school brings out the fierce protector in him.

Day three and having encouraged Roh that she can tell the teacher if it happens again, and encouraged big brother that probably he didn't yet need to get involved, I send her heart-breakingly back to school.  All morning I am troubled by visions of a tiny girl in a corner of the playground, surrounded by these boys.  I feel guilt that I hadn't yet raised it with the teacher, sticking hesitantly to my 'three strikes and I'm in [to school]' rule.

I pick up her at lunchtime, and as nonchalantly as I can ask how her day has been.  "Good,"she responds.  Unable to hold back any longer, as casually as I can muster I ask, "And...um...those boys, any trouble with those boys again?"

"Yes, a bit."

"What did you do?  Did you tell the teacher?"

"No."

"Why not, Roh?  You don't have to put up with this you know," and I start to feel mummy lion emerging.

"Well, mummy they only did it once today."

"Oh," I say, the wind taken from sails.  Then the cogs start to whirr....  "Why did they only do it once, Roh?"

"Because I roared at them mummy."

Another RROOOOOAAAARRRRRRR.

Day four, and on the drive to school I remind Roh of the role of her teacher, and how she is there to help if she needs her to.  And I ask big brother, "who's the boss of you?", and he shouts "ME!"  And I say to Roh, "who's the boss of you?" and she shouts "ME!"

And all the while she's at school I am psyching myself up to have to go into school, because today could be strike three.

At lunchtime I pick up a happy girl, who runs to me with open arms.

"How was your morning my angel?"

"Good."

And forgetting all nonchalence I quickly ask, "And those boys, how were they?  Did they gun you today?"

"No, mummy," she tells me grinning from ear to ear, "they're playing in a different part of the playground now."

49 comments:

  1. Awww your little girl is frickin amazing, love how she dealt with the bullies!

    And awww for her big bro, 7yrs old and already so protective, love it!

    Well done for keeping a level couldn't have been easy xx

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    1. It wasn't easy, no! I'm so very proud of them both. Thank you xx

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  2. Lovely story - and great to see that she sorted it out for herself! Well done for not rushing in to school and making to into something that it didn't need to be! I like your three strike rule! x

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad she found a way - albeit a noisy one - to deal with it. It was hard to stand back though xx

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  3. Good for her. You've brought up a confident girl there. I love your three strikes rule. I might just adopt it. One exception may be rope burns on neck. It happened to one of mine and I went in straight away!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, rope burns on a neck is most definitely the exception to the rule! Hope your child was OK? x

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  4. She sounds like a clever, confident little girl!! good on her. xx

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  5. That is a fantastic story, you have obviously instilled confidence and self assurance in your daughter. I am very conscious of this as i struggled myself, it's lovely to see a little girl standing up for herself.

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    1. I struggled too, which makes me all the more proud of her. I've a lot to learn from her! xx

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  6. What a fabulously confident little girl!

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  7. She is so so brave, as are you. Pops has recently started and this would have made me so mad! We need more of her ways in this world :) x

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    1. Thank you - yes its hard to stand back sometimes. Just teach Pops how to RROOOAAR!! Hope she's getting on OK? x

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  8. Yay!! Go little lion cub!! How fearsome is daughter-lion! She clearly got it from her mummy.

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    1. Oh so very fearsome! Thank you lovely xx

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  9. This is such a great story with the perfect happy ending :-). You must be so proud of your daughter in finding a way to deal with these boys that worked a treat. Also, so lovely about your son being all protective over his little sister. Those are two fabulous children you have there - you and your husband must have set such great examples to them. xx

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    1. Oh thank you so much - what a lovely comment. I do think they're pretty fab, but I am biassed! Thank you xx

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  10. Fantastic! A strong independent woman in trying, right there xx

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  11. Aww! What a fab way to deal with the bullies! You have a strong, brave little girl x

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  12. Good for her! Very brave. And bless your boy for being such a protective big brother. Glad she was able to deal with this herself and I do hope they don't bother her again.

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    1. Thank you - yes he was such a star too! He's such a good tempered, good little boy, it was so strange to hear him become quite fierce in his protection of his little sister. She's so lucky to have him. And I'm a lucky mummy x

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  13. GOOD GIRL!!!! Sounds as though having a big brother has given her loads of confidence, and practice in being fierce. And good on you for holding back and letting her fight the battle. It must have been REALLY hard to do that (4 is still very tiny!), but it sounds as though the experience has made her even more sure of her own power.

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    1. I think it was very empowering for her! And yes all those arguments and bickering with her brother were clearly a very important part of her social development! I shall have to invest in ear plugs ;) Thanks Nell xx

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  14. Your tiny girl sounds amazing, how wonderful that she found her own way to deal with trouble. She will go far!

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  15. So lovely to hear she handled herself so well with a giant roar, and those silly boys are no longer pestering her. What a confident little girl you have. X.

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    1. I think giant roars could probably solve all manner of ills in the world! Thank you x

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  16. I love that they both know they are their own boss - what a wonderful life lesson! Bravo you x

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    1. Thank you - yes I think it's important for them to know they don't have to be pushed around xx

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  17. I must teach mine to roar to be well equipped next year! Well done to her, and to you for your patience, I don't have that 3 strike rule ;)

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    1. Thank you. Roaring is a prerequisite for school I think! xx

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  18. You did a great job - bullying is so horrible and hard to deal with. Your little girl sounds like she'll cope with whatever comes her way! Oh and her brother sounds like a really caring one as well.

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    1. Yes they are both so wonderful and I'm very proud. I think it has shown Big Brother that it's OK to stand up for yourself too xx

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  19. Can't wait for her to roar at her teacher!!!

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    1. Oh goodness - I hadn't thought of that.....!!! x

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  20. Wow good for Roh! When my daughter was the same age she totally succumbed to the 'orders of bad boys', fearing if she didn't she'd be the one told off. Thankfully she's all grown up now and NO shrinking violet.

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    1. Ah good for her for knowing now that she doesn't have to put up with it. My son was/is the same. But I'm glad Roh showed him how it can be handled. xx

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  21. Oh my word, I got all choked up and teary about her, I was going to come with you to school! But what a little fire cracker she is, you must be so proud that your baby stood strong and took no nonsense. Well done Roh, what a woman you will grow into xx

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    1. Oh bless you, thank you xx Yes I'm so so proud of her. I know I wouldn't have been able to do that when I was her age. I hope it lasts. She's going to be a phenomenal woman when she's older. xxx

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  22. I am girl, hear me ROAR! Love it!

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  23. What a wonderful little girl you have and what a fabulous mum you are to give her that strength of character to stand her ground. I am so with you on the '3 strikes' rule but have still been up a lot over the last two years. My eldest gets teased because she is a tomboy who enjoys football etc, I over hear a lot of sexism in the playground spoken by both children and adults and I can see why she gets such a hard time. I hate it. I have to take many deep breaths before considering how to approach the latest nonsense. She stands her ground too though my little girl, even though she finds it upsetting. She makes me very proud.

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  24. What a star! Top advice. And I love how older siblings can be horrible to younger ones at home, but anyone else picks on them and they're all over it!

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  25. Brilliant! She sounds amazing and you have guided them both so well.

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  26. What a sweet story!!! I'm glad you taught her to stick up for herself. It's probably done a world of good for her confidence knowing she can handle stuff herself. And 'big' brother is adorable too. No one picks on her except for him. I can relate because I was the oldest in my family :-))

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  27. You are doing such a fantastic job! She sounds like an absolute star :) What an amazing woman she is going to be xx

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