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The apple does not fall far from the tree

It's funny (and not funny, ha ha) how when you have a baby, you think that it cannot possibly get any harder than this, with the lack of sleeping and the constant worry about almost everything. But as your kids grow up, you realize just how easy you had it back in the day.

This morning, I read an article about a mother who choked the boy who was bullying her daughter. Before I even read past the headline, I found myself almost siding with the mom. I would never do anything like that; after all, I am the one, unlike hubby, who tells my kid to turn the other cheek. But I can see how as a parent you could become so frustrated, worried, angry, etc., that you could be pushed to that point.

As both a parent and educator (albeit not too regularly for the latter), bullying concerns me. It is sometimes difficult to determine when it is just teasing/being mean and when it has gone beyond that. Of course it would be great if everyone just got along all the time and no one was ever mean to anyone else, but that is just not the real world. So how do you draw the line and know when to take action?

Last week, a mom was saying how she could not believe that parents would let their kids have a uni-brow or hair above their lips. I sat there in silence because my kid does, in fact, have a bit of a uni-brow (and this woman was probably talking about my kid). But I thought at eight, my kid could live with it. C'mon, am I going to pluck her eyebrows or take her for a waxing?! Yet now I am second guessing myself. I don't want my kid to be teased for something I could take care of. As a fourth grader, I remember being made fun of for my hairy legs. I don't know if I ever cried about the taunting, but the fact that I still remember it, over 30 years later, tells me it was pretty hurtful.

And then there is the whole keeping up with Joneses, which, much like my parents, I don't care so much about. Quite a few of J's friends have iPods and they "FaceTime" each other (I have no idea if that is a verb; up until a few weeks ago, I had never even heard of FaceTime). Not surprisingly, after spending a few hours with friends who had iPods, J asked me if she could have one for her birthday. I, being clueless about technology, consulted a friend who is always up these things, and she informed me that an iPod with FaceTime capability costs $200. What?! Parents actually spend that kind of money on their kids for something like that?!

I don't miss diapers and I am glad that my kid sleeps through the night, but these are the times that try parents' souls.


Shannon W. said…
I agree no 8 year old should have to worry about eyebrow plucking/ waxing!!!

IMO if she expresses an early interest in caring about these things (shaving/ plucking), then it is probably time to let her start.

My daughter is also 8 (Fall B-day so just finished 2nd grade; also in Pittsburgh). She argues with me about taking a bath. I can't imagine her plucking or shaving yet.

I am also finding the ipod and cell phone issues hard to navigate. I think she is too young but I don't want her to be the last in the class either.

Luckily, she seems happy with the MP3 player that we got her for her 8th birthday and did not ask for an iPod for Christmas. The internet access worries me and I basically think she can play music on her MP3 player and games (which she is not very interested in anyway)on her DS.

The phone issue is easier for me. She has asked; she has told me who has them in her class; but it is clear to me she doesn't need one and I"m not paying for it.
Facie said…
Shannon: Thanks for sharing; it helps to hear from others who are, more or less, in my position. I actually did ask J today if she wanted to do something about her eyebrows and she said yes, so I figured one of those creams would be okay. She is not yet bothered by the hair on her legs, but based on my experiences near that age, I will probably let her shave once she asks, even though she is still so young!

I am happy to say that she told me she does not care about FaceTime; she only wants to play the games that you apparently can on one of those iPods. Internet is scary. Just the other day she told me she wanted to find a mermaid spell because a girl in her class told her she found one on the Internet. Ugh!
bluzdude said…
It was my experience that turning the other cheek did't get you anything but a smack on the other side too. I'd probably opt for strangling the other kid too.
Facie said…
Bluz: In my experiences, you have been pretty right, unfortunately.

I am trying to figure out how I feel about the bully's mom pressing charges. As a parent, I would be alarmed if my kid came home from with a red neck and told me that a parent did that, but I also take the other side before my own kid's, even though my kid is pretty honest.
I'm all for the bullying of other moms.

My god, eight year olds are eight year olds, not fashion models. All you have to do is go to a high school reunion to see that the plain looking kids grow up into the best looking adults. Most of the "good looking" kids end up fat and bald and or addicted to plastic surgery.

Ug, I can't imagine parenting in the age of Facebook, texting, and Skype. Hang in there.
Facie said…
Thanks, Bagger, I am trying!

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