one of the hardest things for a parent to do is learning how to let go.
and it’s not just about all those big moments where your child goes off to university or leaves the nest or gets married.
those are the big ones but from the time they are born, there are all these little to medium size moments of letting go.
recently, chaeli has been quite sad because her bff is moving and lately, probably because this girl is having difficulties adjusting to the idea of leaving all her friends, has been doing the hot and cold treatment to chaeli.
on top of that, there’s a bully in her class that’s been mean to her (and everyone, really – teachers are aware and are dealing with it). he’s not physically hurting anyone but if you ask me, this boy needs some major disciplining and lessons in regards to respect.
both of the above were confessed to doug while he was tucking her in for the night. he told me afterwards while we were quasi-watching the US presidential elections. when i heard she teared up and expressed how sad she was to doug, i felt just so bad for her.
there’s nothing we can really do to solve her problems. this is life. i’ve been through what she’s been through all the time – the memories of being the 3rd wheel amongst a group of 3 (how many sets of 3 has this happened? 5 major moments from grade school to high school for sure) and the mean boys (and girls) picking on me because i was one of the few asians in the school at the time.
i was very sad and very lonely. but the sadness i felt doesn’t even compare to how sad i feel for chaeli.
still… there’s no way we can be there with her at school to shelter her. even more so, that would probably do more harm then good if she doesn’t have these experiences. as doug says, it is sad. and we’ll always worry. but it also builds character. she will learn to figure out the type of people she wants as true friends.
our role is just to listen and give her guidance. and support. and a lot of love.
so the next morning, i woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:15am to do yoga, then get ready for work and then i took my time a little until it was okay to wake up chaeli. on mornings where doug drops her off, we let her sleep in for 30 minutes more. i’m usually out the door at least 15 minutes before she wakes up but that morning, i didn’t leave until 30 minutes later than normal.
i wanted to give her a pep talk before leaving. and the message was this:
- her bff isn’t being the best type of friend at the moment. i suggested just to give her bff some space while remaining nice to her. meanwhile, chaeli should explore other possible friendships.
- the bully is a loser. he is the one who has the problem (i have seen him in action – disrespecting one of the teachers, actually, and it almost made me want to pull him aside and tell him exactly what he was doing wrong). i explained to her that these types of kids are just trying to get attention (in the worst way) and the more reaction you show them, the more they feel rewarded with their bad behaviour. as with her bff, i told her to remain nice to him but to also try and ignore him and possibly avoid him when she can.
when it was just doug and i, i had to laugh and comment, “you know, several years from now, that same boy is going to ask chaeli out and she’s not going to give him the time of day!”
chaeli will have the upper hand. she just doesn’t know this yet. 🙂