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Do you ever wonder if you are just failing miserably at the whole raising a tiny human gig?

If you said no, I would have to assume you either don't have kids, you are in some serious denial, or you are living proof that a "Pinterest Parent" is a real thing and the rest of us really are failing miserably! I'm going to go with the first option!

It's so normal to wonder if we are doing everything right when raising these little offspring of ours. It's also impossible to do everything right. We can only try and surely we'll fail at some things and completely rock at others.

What they don't tell you when you are a new parents of the tiny humans that you are keeping in your safety bubble is that though it seems hard now, it only gets harder! Say what?!?!?!? Yup, that's right. Long gone are the days of lack of sleep, shirts covered in milk and spit up, and diaper genies for me. Man those days seemed trying at the time, but how long for them some days now.

Yes, these little chicken nuggets grow up and become more and more independent, but the hard part is, they leave that bubble. They are no longer completely protected by you. Sure, they will soon be able to buckle themselves in the car, make themselves a snack, and even wipe their own A** (ha!). However, when they are able to leave the comfort bubble, it's so much more than worrying about them shoving a penny up their nose or too much TV time. Once the bubble is popped, they become exposed to other...HUMANS! (GASP!). That's right, they become exposed to other little chicken nuggets that can then introduce them to things you may or may not want them to be exposed to. These days, it's a simple Tik Tok or YouTube video that you might not approve of, maybe some foul language, or sexual content that you are not ready to answer (at 9:30 at night when you've just tucked them in and they suddenly want to know how dad put a baby in you-that's right, that's how they ask. Every. Time. ha!).

Once they leave that bubble, you can no longer control what they see and hear and experience 24/7 and that my friends has been the hardest part of my kids growing up. As a mama, I want to protect them always. The harsh reality is, I just can't. Even though I knew this, it was a hard pill to swallow this week when I found out my kiddo was being hurt by another kiddo at school. Ugh, I dreaded the day. I knew it would come. I know kids can be mean. I've heard the drama between the girls for years already. I've heard the "she called me this or he called me that" so many times. But never, ever has my daughter come home tearful, anxious, and as upset as she did yesterday. Normally, when she's upset about something that happened, she talks to me about it and wants my feedback, but always begs me not to intervene and tell the teacher. I trust her judgement and always keep the conversations between us and never involve the teachers. Of course I would if I thought it was necessary, but until this point, I never felt the need.

So yesterday, when I asked how her day was and she told me it was awful, I listened as she told me why. And when she finished telling me why, out of character for her, she begged me to tell her teacher. This was a huge red flag for me. She was really feeling bad about this.

For the last week, a boy in her class (who used to be her good buddy) has been bullying her to the point of her needing someone to intervene.

Most of you know, she was born with a rare syndrome called Pierre (Pee-Air) Robin (Row-Ban) Sequence. In a nutshell, when she was born, her chin sat way far back, causing her tongue to have no where to go, so it sat where her soft palate should have developed. When she was born, if she was put on her back, it would fall back and block her airway. At 11 days old, they broke her jaw and put big metal braces on her face (Bilateral Mandibular Jaw Distraction). Over ten days, we turned the braces a total of 3/4 inch over that time. Then they locked them into place and they stayed on for three months. This is a very short version of her story, but needless to say, her chin is smaller than most and she was left with some scarring on her jawline. Honestly though, if you looked at her now, you probably wouldn't know she had such issues. You might think she just has a small chin or you'd think nothing of her appearance at all. I have always feared that someday, someone would see her differently and make her feel bad about it. Unfortunately, it happened.

This is her before surgery, while the braces were on, and after surgery.

This is her recently. I realize I'm bias, but isn't she so beautiful?

This boy started to make fun of her for having "no jaw line". Telling her how ugly she is and even wrote her a letter to tell her they couldn't be friends anymore because she's too ugly. He even went as far as drawing a picture of her with disheveled hair and NO chin and showing it to everyone, laughing and saying how ugly she is. sigh. My sweet girl is so confident as she should be and has never ever mentioned feeling like there was anything wrong with her chin/jaw. Now, she's mortified and has developed a complex about it.

Aside from all of the aforementioned things, he was also constantly throwing things at her or making things harder for her, i.e. throwing her ball out of site in gym so she had nothing or had to go find it, etc... All of the petty things he was doing are not worth mentioning.

So, of course this is upsetting to me as I see how upset she is, but I also know how dramatic 10 year old girls are so I was also telling myself to remember this is just her side of the story. There could be another side. So, I stayed calm and per her request, I messaged the teacher to tell her what was going on. I also added in the principal, but she didn't need to know that. Ha. I just really take bullying seriously and wanted to make sure this was dealt with properly. It was after hours when I emailed, but the teacher responded right away telling me that her and the principal would take action right away in the morning and I'd hear back. This morning, the principal emailed and said he would be addressing the issue right away in the morning and I'd hear back. Aniston was so scared to tell me because this kid also told her that if she told on him, "bad things would happen to her". Needless to say, she was pretty nervous to go to school today, so I'm glad they handled it right away this morning.

I got a call this afternoon and I am just so impressed with the situation overall. The principal knew Aniston was scared and didn't want this boy to know she told on him. So, he used a different approach and just started talking to him about how he likes to be treated, about the Kindness Retreat they just had for 4th graders, about the kind of school he wanted to be part of, etc...within five minutes, the kiddo admitted that he had been making poor choices and not being very nice to some of his classmates lately (Aniston wasn't the only one he was bullying). He admitted everything he did and took ownership. The principal gave him the option to invite Aniston into the office with them to talk to her. The kid took a deep breathe and said, "Yeah, let me go get her. You can wait here." He stood outside the door while the kid went to get Aniston so that she would see it was a safe space for her to come with him. Once they were all in the office together, the boy apologized. This next part made me want to stand up and cheer. The principal said he was extremely proud of her and impressed with her confidence and courage. He said most kids that receive an apology from another respond with, "That's okay." He said he tells them it's not okay and encourages them to talk more about it. Well, Miss Aniston didn't miss a beat. She did not say that it was okay. She let him know she accepted his apology, but that wasn't enough for her. She went on to ask him questions about why he did what he did, if he knew how it made her feel. She then listed all the other kids he was bullying and asked him why he was doing it to them and if he knew how it was making them feel. She explained to him how he was becoming known in their class as a bully or a mean kid and asked him if that's how he wanted kids to think of him. Holy crap kid! I am beyond impressed that she had the courage and the maturity to calmly and kindly have this kind of a conversation with her bully completely unprompted. The kid opened up to her about his feelings and thoughts on why he was doing it and how he didn't want that to be his reputation, etc. The principal talked through with them how they would move forward and get past this and what they were going to do to make sure this was going to stop. He said they had a great conversation and decided they would eat snack together later today. He said he peeked in during that time and the two of them were sitting in together with other friends, but the two of them were talking and laughing together.

I know not all bully situations end this well. I am beyond proud of both of these kiddos for how they handled the situation and hope that it really was resolved. Bullying is no joke and I will not tolerate it on either end for my kids. I am so proud to hear how Aniston handled herself when she was face to face with him. She portrayed herself as kind, strong, and confident. Someone most people would like to be friends with. She stood up to him and didn't just say it was okay. She dug deeper and defended herself while helping him to realize how this was ultimately hurting him too. I couldn't be more proud. And for this reason folks, I am happy to say that I am clearly doing something right and I am not failing miserably at this parent thing.

We all wonder if we're failing or messing up our kids some way or another. Look to your kids and their character for that answer. I think most of you will see in them the great job you are doing! What an amazing feeling. The principal told me numerous times how proud he was of her, but also how her dad and I were raising one heck of a young lady and we should be so proud. I can't wait to get home and squeeze her!

Until next time,

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2 comentarios

April O
April O
18 abr

Not me crying while ready this! I just registered the boy for kindergarten today and all these fears rushed in my head! Y’all are doing a heck of a job and I admire the way you are raising your children. Crossing my fingers, I can do the same! Send me all the tips!

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BennyAni Photography
BennyAni Photography
18 abr
Contestando a

Girl please!! You are super mom and doing a heck of a job. Thank you for your kind words and for reading the blog. If only they could stay in the bubble! And, what the heck?!? Kindergarten?!?

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