A couple days ago I wrote a post called Shot down at preschool.
I got this comment in response to it on the blog.
I’m wondering if I’m alone in my reaction to this story – or if nobody will comment, because as a follower of this blog, and one who enjoys the majority of it (especially since it is now focused on life and not so much at attacking people who may disagree with views) – we have learned if you disagree, you may likely get called out for it.
And I never comment on anything, but i’m very surprised at the reaction to this. I think that this incident presented a great time to teach a 4 year old compassion. Accepting a valentine is not a marriage proposal, but rather a thoughtful gesture. And i agree with your Dad that to look at him and say I dont want it, is not something to be proud of, but rather is rude and mean spirited… I’m by no means a perfect mom, far from it, but I would be upset if my 3 year old treated another person in that way… this isnt a judgment on your 4 year old – my 3 year old has said and done things that i dont approve of either because they just dont know any better. My surprise in this, however, is the reaction to it. I sensed a bit of pride, rather than, disappointment…
Now I just want to address two things here.
I’ve been thinking about this comment.
The story, to me, was funny in that it was one of those out of the mouths of babes moments.
One of those embarrassing moments.
And I don’t like that Number 5 hurt a little boy’s feelings.
But you might be right about me feeling a little bit of pride.
And this is why.
That valentine made Number 5 feel uncomfortable. For whatever reason.
And rather than accept it, rather than do something that made her feel uncomfortable, she wasn’t afraid to say no.
I worry about some of my kids.
Number 3 and 5 in particular.
They are shy, and followers, and people pleasers, and they don’t often stand up for themselves.
This worries me down the line.
Because for many years I did things that made me feel uncomfortable in the hopes of gaining other peoples’ approval.
That is a whole other post altogether.
Maybe even a book.
But I worry about my girls.
Well, not really Number 4.
She’s got no problem standing up for herself.
Neither does Number 7 really.
But not Number 5.
I worry about her a little bit as an adult.
So yeah, I wasn’t too bothered by her saying no.
I didn’t like the way in which she said it.
And we talked about that.
We talked about hurting peoples’ feelings.
We talked about ways to politely decline a gift.
We also talked about how you can politely accept one even if it’s something you don’t really like.
But like I said, I’m glad she had the balls to say no to a boy.
Because there was a time when I didn’t.
Now for the other part of the comment.
You are right.
I think I may have acknowledged this before, but maybe not.
I know I have attacked in the past.
I think some of the times the recipient deserved it.
But that’s not why I started the blog.
Way back this summer, I went out with a bunch of ladies after running a 5K race here in town.
A couple of them I already knew, and a couple of them I only knew through the blog.
I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about, but one of the ladies who I had just met for the first time that night jokingly (but she wasn’t really joking) said that she didn’t want to cross me for fear of being skewered on the blog.
That’s not what I want to do here.
That’s not the atmosphere I want to create.
I’ve really tried to be aware of that since that conversation.
I’ve had a couple slip-ups.
It’s a part of me that I don’t particularly love.
That feeling that I need to fight back.
I’ve come a long way over the past year and a half.
This blog has been serious therapy for me.
It’s forced me to really take a look at myself.
And it has pointed things out to me that I didn’t realize I was doing.
Things that I really don’t like.
Things that aren’t productive.
So I’m getting there.
I know I ask for some of these comments by putting myself out there.
And when you are opinionated and don’t hold back, well, you are going to ruffle some feathers.
People say some mean things.
That takes a little getting used to.
I’m getting there, too.
Rather than feeling the need to bulldoze over them, I am getting much better at ignoring the opinions of judgmental or ignorant people.
(Like the person who wrote a comment asking if I would still love Number 6 when he became a “bent adult” since I allowed him, as a three-year-old boy, to wear nail polish).
And I am trying to really consider the comments that other readers leave and determine whether they may just have a point.
That part is really hard for me.
Because I come from a long line of women who are never wrong.
So, to this commenter, I appreciate your viewpoint.
And I really appreciate that you had the balls to voice your opinion.
And just like I’m trying to teach Number 5, speaking your mind is okay.
But the way in which you speak it makes a big difference.
I guess we’ll keep working on that one together.
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