You would think that with a whole 23 years worth of parenting expertise, I would really know what I was doing, BUT no! here I am still stumbling along, making it up as I go along. I suppose every child is different and as parents we deal with each child differently. But nothing prepared me for the note that came home from school last week saying that Tilly had put her hands around another child's neck. To make the situation worse she told them that Mummy showed her how to do it. Dealing with a child that lies is one thing, although it was totally out of character for her. But to have to deal with a child that has potentially bullied another child was embarrassing as I had bought up my kids not to bully. (There was a time when Zach punched a kid in school for calling me a whore, But I was secretly proud of him for sticking up for me!)
So I had been at work all day, and it turned out to be a crap afternoon there (PMS ...... really bad!) and I came home to this note from the teacher. So I called the future serial killer into the house and I didn't know what to tell her off for first. 1/ do I tell her off for the lying or 2/ do I deal with the bullying? So I opened my mouth and started to tell her off for what she had done. That was my first big mistake....... I didn't listen to my child and went straight in to the telling off. I finished telling her off and Then of course there were tears, and in between the pitiful crying she explained to me that she had been trying to stop the other child from twisting another girls arm. WOW that hit me like a smack in the face, I had gone right in to telling her off without knowing what had gone on, I didn't actually listen to my own child. I suppose sometimes we forget to listen to our children and we think as parents we know better, I mean I have been a parent since ....FOREVER, so you would think that I would know what I was doing by now. I felt rubbish for not listening to her and It made me realise that I have probably dismissed so many of her conversations before. I
am going to make more of an effort to listen to her.
Anyway with the whole serial killer strangulation thing, I have explained to her that it is wrong. I asked her if she had ever seen anyone strangle another person and she said no (thankfully). We had a chat about going to tell a teacher if she see's someone hurt another person. She needs to tell the teacher if someone hurts anybody, but then I found myself doubting what I was saying incase it makes her out to be a tell-tale.
I tell you - being a parent is the hardest job in the world! you often don't know what to do for the best and you second guess every thought you have about your choices you make with your child. This incident had happened on a Friday (I am sure she planned it this way), meaning I couldn't talk to the school until after the weekend and in that time so many thoughts went through my mind. I had visions of being excluded in the school playground for having a dangerous killer child. I thought I would be up in front of the head mistress for being the bully's mummy. I thought Tilly would be alienated for what had happened. And to make it worse Tilly had a kids party with some school friends the day after the incident and I was so scared to leave her. I was in a dilemma, do I tell the birthday child's mother about the incident or do I just keep quiet and not say a word? I chose to tell the parent before dashing away as I am sure she had a bit of a horrified look on their face. The sigh of relief when I collected her and she had been good was the best feeling ever!
Without realising last weekend, I made my child into a monster! and I will listen to her more before I jump to conclusions. We all need to listen more as sometimes the kids are not good at explaining, especially at 5 years old. So I now understand that my child is not the new 'Dexter' and I don't have to fear of her strangling anyone again.
Kids often take alot of understanding and even with my experience as a mother, I am still understanding her everyday. Oh and you know what? she was friends with the girl the next day - all was forgotten.