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mean girls

slut shaming, sexting, misogyny, shaved, Mean girls, raising girls, hair, shaving, waxing, self-esteem

Last fall, I received a personal laser hair removal system because I’d already shaved myself silly for the past 30 years and waxing hurts my feelings. My 7-year-old saw it and asked what it was. I told her. Then, she mentioned the hair on her arms. She said if the laser hair removal treatment worked, she wanted me to use it on her. I took notice but didn’t want to make a “thing” of it. It felt like a little punch to my gut that this was a concern of my 2nd grader. It broke my heart a little.

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I’ve always believed that when my daughters came to me about hairy legs, out of control eyebrows or the inevitable extra lip hair (because God knows I am living proof of maintenance) that I would help them. It wouldn’t be an issue, until they came to me if it bothered them. As long as they love the skin they are in, that’s all that matters to me.

I remember being in middle school myself and having hairy legs and my dad forbidding me to shave my legs. I had to wear ugly tube socks to hide the Sasquatch I was evolving into. It was humiliating. Eventually, embarrassment and humiliation got the best of me, I butchered shaved my legs and nearly took my ankle off with it. I never wanted my girls to have to sneak and shave their legs, tweeze their eyebrows or, heaven forbid, wax their mustache. Mostly, I never wanted them to feel that awkward humiliation or be stumped when someone else pointed out what they already knew.

So, when my 7-year-old came to me for a second time last night and asked me if I could laser her tiny little arms, I looked her straight in the face and asked her, “Why do you want me to take the hair off of your arms?” And she answered, “Because it bothers me, Mommy.” I made the decision to stick by my guns and I agreed to shave her arms.

You see when she originally asked about it, I consulted my aesthetician and she recommended shaving her arms. When my daughter came to me, very seriously, after several months and still wanted the hair gone. I had to do what was best for her.

I took her to my bathroom. I explained that hair is natural and we all have it. Some of us have more than others but that if this were what SHE wanted, I would shave her arms. She was sure.

I washed her arms. Lathered them with shaving cream and almost surreally,

I shaved her tiny arms from her elbow to her wrist.

When we were done, she hugged me and said, “Oh, Mommy! They are so smooth. Now, I don’t have to wear my fleece every day in class to cover my arms!”

She was ecstatic. She ran downstairs to show her dad and her sister. And then I died a little bit inside, as I held back the tears because I realized that she hadn’t given me the entire story.

I followed her downstairs, pulled her aside and asked, “Baby, why do you wear your fleece every day in class?”

Then she said something I never wanted to hear, “ Well, *Sophie asked my why my arms were so hairy. Then she told me they were weird. Then she laughed.”

I can tell you that as a mom, I wanted to punch this other 7-year-old in the face because she has put it in my daughter’s head that her arms are weird because they have hair on them. That will never go away. She’s never going to forget that moment that someone laughed and called her “weird” because of her body. That infuriates me.

I know some of you reading this are thinking why on the earth would you shave your 7-year-old’s arms? I realize that it sounds vain and cosmetic and no I don’t want to encourage my girls to believe that they need to change to meet society’s expectations of beauty. This wasn’t about that. This was me helping my daughter feel better about herself because it bothered her just like I would take her to a dermatologist if she had acne or get her braces if her teeth were crooked.

I shaved my daughter because that’s what she needed to feel happy in her skin.

I’m thrilled my daughter feels more confident without the hair on her arms but I’m hoping, since I didn’t have the entire story, that I didn’t send the wrong message. I don’t want her to think she has to conform to other people’s concept of beauty because I think she’s perfect already.

What would you have done in this situation?

Would you have shaved your 7-year-old if you could see it truly bothered her?

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bullying. mean girls, raising daughters, discipline

Yesterday was the much anticipated parent/teacher meeting with the teacher who doesn’t pay attention about the bully situation. I was ready to lay into this teacher who called my daughter a “bully”. My daughter was a victim of the bully. She would NEVER be mean to another kid. She knows better. Then, I got to the meeting and got blindsighted.

Firstly, my opinion in no way has changed about this teacher. She is an inaccessible teacher and she doesn’t pay attention. She is cold and I just don’t care for her attitude. When I confronted the teacher and asked her why she has never returned any of my emails or phone calls, her answer was, “Oh (smirk) I never check my email or voicemail.” What? This is unacceptable.

But all that being said, when the “bully” situation was brought up. The teacher had the note. Proof. There at the bottom was my 3rd graders handwriting, “Read a good book dood. Bam!What?” It was my daughters writing. I felt sick to my stomach. The rest of the note, repeatedly insulting the little boy, was not my daughter’s handwriting but that last nasty line…it was and that was way more than my tolerance level allows.

The teacher said that my daughter is not known to do these sort of things but she said there was one other instance where my daughter told a boy in her group to, “Stay focused, get back to their group and do some work.” He was in her group and she said she always ends up doing all the work and she was frustrated. I understand this because I was the kid who always got stuck doing the “group” work. I don’t consider that being a bully, do you? I consider that being bossy. Still not her place but let’s not confuse it with bullying. Bullying is repeated with the intent to harm and hurt.

But this instance of telling the little boy to “Read a good book dood.” Was obviously rude and could be hurtful especially when the teacher told my daughter, “Some kids don’t have the same gifts as you do, so you can’t say things like that because maybe they are not capable of doing that.” By the way, there is nothing wrong with the little boy, in case you were wondering, other than maybe he isn’t as advanced in some subjects as my daughter is but that is completely normal at this age.

Bottom line is this, we do not tolerate bullying in any form, even the slightest because it can have a lasting and damaging effect on the child on the receiving end. My daughters have both been on the receiving end. So, my daughter is grounded for a month. No television, no electronics, no play dates and no birthday parties and she had to write an apology to her father and I for not coming forth in her part in the letter and she had to write an apology to the little boy who she told to “Read a good book dood! Bam. What?” that included writing 5 nice things about him. She is also no longer allowed to communicate with the girl who wrote the note and gave it to the boy in the first place. That kid is bad news. She used to bully my daughter in the first grade.

I am very disappointed in my daughter for writing anything on this note, I am disappointed in the teacher who does not respond to parents and sushed my daughter when she tried to bring her the note in the first place before she decided to add to it.  I am disappointed in myself for parenting my child in a way that made her think it was okay to say something mean to another child, without considering the consequences or effect it may have on the other child. She knows now. We had a very long discussion on not saying negative things to people. I explained that I understand having negative feelings about someone or not liking them and you are entitled to your own opinion but you cannot say these things out loud if it hurts another person. Keep it to yourself.

What would you have done? I wanted her to remember this punishment as a consequence of being mean so she never does it again. What do you consider being a bully?

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depressed, childhood depression, depressed kid

depressed, childhood depression, depressed kid

Could Your Child be Depressed?

Can young children be depressed? I’ve come to realize something very important, 2nd grade is a turning point in a child’s life. This is where, as the Big Guy says, the rubber meets the road. Education gets real serious, real fast. Last year was playtime, this year is planners and hours of homework and violin and pre-ballet has now turned to ballet and there is no more time for childish games. Suddenly, everyone is serious.

This is the year that our children really begin to take it all in. It’s the year that grades are beginning to count, teachers expectations are raised and the age of reason. Obliviousness and the carefree, reckless abandonment of being a preschooler has to be shelved and children are forced to grow up in many ways. I’ve noticed this for my daughter and I’m not sure I like it, at all.

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Today, Bella came out of ballet very upset that one of the little girls in the class was ignoring her.Apparently, there was an incident a couple weeks ago when Bella ( being that she is 5) told the little girl, “You are my best friend” to which the little girl responded, ” NO, I’m not your best friend. So and so is my best friend!”  And another incident previous to that one where Bella brought her friend on bring a friend day and wanted to sit by her, this other little girl sat between them and basically was  friendly to Bella’s friend but excluded Bella. Bella was very upset that day, as well. Friendship has been a big theme lately at our household. I think it has a lot to do with being new to this entire kindergarten situation. It’s like everything revolves around who your friends are…wow, sounds a lot like high school.

Anyways, I’ve always been a big advocate of the “to have a good friend, you’ve got to be a good friend” mantra.Hell, you’ve all heard me preach it…time and time again. To an extent, I do believe that. Well, I certainly believe it…if they are in fact your friend. Now, it has recently come to light that there seems to be, what I can only classify as “mean girls” in the elementary girl set. I can’t even believe I am saying this because it sounds so freaking ridiculous. But believe me you, I’m finding this all out the hard way. Not so much the boys, but it seems girls learn very early on about this competition amongst one another. I for one am an advocate of sisterhood and that has been what I have been trying to instill with all this To have a good friend, you’ve got to be a good friend  business.

But what do you do,when your child is heeding your advice and giving and giving some more when the other child is just taking and even worse..rejecting. I want my daughters to give people chances and not judge them by first impressions, but its hard to teach this when my girls are the only ones adhering to these rules. There’s only so many times I can watch my child, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, approach another child only to have the other child ignore or reject my child. I’m not going to lie. It pisses me off. I try to teach my girls to be nice, respectful and giving in their relationships and I am watching it being met with unresponsiveness or insincere responses. I don’t necessarily think that these parents aren’t teaching their kids how to behave appropriately. I just think that I am around a lot more and so by being there, my girls follow the rules and it also gives me the opportunity to see the other children sometimes ( some more than others) behaving badly.

Today, I had enough. I had enough of Bella getting upset. I had enough of her feeling rejected. I had enough of this other little girl ignoring her hellos and goodbyes. I had enough of this little girls smart ass comments. She actually told my daughter, “I’m better than you because I am older and can dance better!” WTF? She is older. But my daughter is younger…and was placed at the same level. You do the math. This little girl used to be her friend. We moved away. Moved back. And the kid has metamorphosed into a full on raging mean girl. I know, how awful do I sound referring to a 6 year old as a raging anything? I’m sure there is a special place in hell for me…but I’m also pretty sure that kid is going to be there right with me.

So, I took my little girl’s sweet little tear stained face into my hands and I told her “Forget about her! You don’t need friends like that.” To which Bella responded, “Yeah, because she is mean and stupid and she won’t let the other girls play with me.” Me: ” Bella we don’t call people stupid (even if they are). When you see her if she says hi, say hi back, If she doesn’t, just act like you don’t care!” Am I wrong? I can’t keep telling my little girl to turn the other cheek when every which way she turns, this little girl is metaphorically slapping her in the face…and harder each time. I don’t know what is motivating this behavior.I don’t honestly care. I just refuse to teach my kid to be a doormat to others. Maybe I should teach my girls the 3 strikes you’re out rule? That gives people an ample amount of time to redeem themselves, right? Of course, even under those circumstances this mouthy little girl would still be left in the OUT pile.Happy Mothering! Does this ever get any easier?

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