Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Girl Isn't Perfect... And Neither Am I.

I'd recently heard from Bunny that her best friend's mom didn't want her over for a play date because she thought Bunny was a "bad influence".  This is the second time I've heard this about Bunny, although the first time was in first grade (three years ago).  Now, in all fairness, I do try to see my little girl clearly.  She's not perfect.  She's a bundle of energy, ambition and drive. She's smart and headstrong and a teeny, tiny, bit stubborn which she just might, maybe, kinda, sorta get from me.  All of these strong leadership traits sometimes make her hard to handle. So, I get it that some parents might see the force that is my kid as a "bad influence".  Still, it's worrisome to hear.  Especially as she gets older. I don't fool myself into believing that the kid she is at home is always the kid she is at school.  I know these differences will only get more pronounced the older she gets.  I figure it's my job as her parent to make sure that her school behavior and her at home behavior are at least in line with each other and that she continues to make good, solid choices even when I'm not around.  Knowing that she's had a very rocky start to this school year in terms of getting in trouble made me take a serious look at Bunny and what she's been up to.  This was a few weeks ago.

I won't go into details, but I will say, last week things came to a head with a situation which required us to end her friendship with her best friend.  I don't like to do things like this, for a couple of reasons but mostly I think kids need to work out their own relationships for the most part, and learn to determine who is good for them, and who isn't.  We went through this with GG in middle school, with her alternately super happy or in tears depending on how her "friends" decided to treat her that day.  It's a helpless feeling, but relationships are difficult and learning to navigate them is part of the process of growing up.  In this case though, both The Hubs and I agreed we needed to step in.  Her teacher was notified and moved her away from her best friend in the class room.  A recess supervisor was alerted to help keep them apart during recess and lunch.  We didn't want any sneaking around to hang out together.  We also ended all phone contact and of course, no more play dates.

It's been almost a week now.  Bunny has chosen to surround herself with girls who for the most part are good kids who don't tend to get into trouble.  And you know what?  Bunny hasn't had her name on the board all week, and no additional trips to detention.  I can't tell you what a huge relief this is.

But the snarky, sarcastic, mean, not perfect part of me can't help but feel a little vindicated that while my "bad influence" daughter has managed to stay out of trouble, her former best friend hasn't.  I worry about my girl.. All. The. Time.  I want to reign her in so she can be a functioning/contributing member of her class without squashing her spirit.  I love all the things about her.  The funny parts, the stubborn parts, the artistic parts, even the hard to handle parts.  But loving her, means I also need to 'see' her for who she is, not who I think she is.  Perhaps we'd have less "bad influences" if more parents could manage to do the same.  Not that I know anything, because Lord knows I'm not perfect either.

Seriously... Thoughts?