Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dear Other Mother,

It's hard to make me really angry. I don't "do" angry very well. I'm a passive person. I hate confrontation. I avoid it at all costs. But I will never, ever avoid it with your or your child. Consider yourself warned.

It was just a scratch. Just a scratch that reached from her delicate little elbow, down the entire length of her forearm and half-way across her perfect second finger. "Just a scratch" that swelled, angry and red. "Just a scratch" that cut across her perfectly smooth skin with little beads of blood fighting their way through. "Just a scratch" that a ten year old boy put on my daughter. Not by accident. Not in a sports situation or during playground craziness.

A scratch that was meant to get her attention. He has a "crush" on her. She was talking to the girls outside of church... giving him very minimal attention. So he "lightly hit her arm" and then SCRATCHED her to get her attention.

Another girl (his SISTER) went to get an adult. The adult got his mother. She told him to apologize. No one said a word to me. Until halfway home from Sunday school when my little girl told me a boy hurt her. I am stunned by this. STUNNED. That this woman, this MOTHER, felt no need to talk to me... to apologize... to assure me it would never happen again... nothing.

Maybe I'm overreacting... but I don't' think I am.
In fact, I'm willing to put myself out on a Mom ledge and say I'm not.
Because it's not okay. It's NOT okay for a boy to put his hands on my daughter. It's NOT okay for her to be hurt and then for it to be pacified because he "likes her".
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? That is one of the most disgusting excuses I've ever heard. So excuse me, mother who thinks it's okay for your TEN YEAR OLD SON to hurt girls, don't feed that line to my daughter.

Don't you DARE imply to my daughter that if a boy likes her he might hurt her... that it's okay if he didn't mean to hurt her. Maybe you're only looking at the here-and-now. Maybe you aren't concerned about the future... five years from now, or ten, or fifteen. I AM.

I am doing my best to raise a strong, confident girl who will know that it is NEVER, EVER okay for anyone to put their hands on her.
I don't ever want her to make an excuse for someone putting her through pain.
I want her to know her worth.
I have devoted years and will devote many, many more years of my life to teaching her that people who "like her" or love her will treat her like she is precious and will protect and care for her.

I'm not "one of those moms" who overreacts at every little thing. I'm really not. I picked up my three year old from preschool on Friday to find a swollen eye and bloody spot on his cheek. THIS was a playground "accident"... a learning experience. Another three year old who hasn't mastered impulse control hit him (four times!!) with a bucket. I kissed him. I put a band aid on his face. I lathered him with Neosporin and Mederma . I did not overreact. I told the teacher "they are only three"... "these things happen" (and I took comfort and satisfaction in her anger and assurance that they would not let it happen again.) I did not overreact.

(...And for the record both of my three year old boys can explain to you that "girls are delicate" and that "boys have to be careful with girls".)

However, if your obnoxious son, or anyone else for that matter, EVER puts his hands on my daughter again I promise to overreact.
I promise to make a BIG, HUGE deal about it.

Start parenting.
Start talking to your son about boundaries, and appropriateness, and maybe even the definition of assault.
Talk to him about how to be a gentleman.
Teach him how to show a girl he likes her without hurting her.
Teach him to be kind.
Teach him to be witty.
Teach him something!!

And if you can't manage this, just teach him to keep his paws off my daughter because I won't dissipate my anger with blogging next time.


Hadar said...

yikes! that is definitely unacceptable. As a kindergarten teacher, I see a lot that some parents don't do. I appreciate you sharing this.


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