Follow-up

Friday, September 23, 2011
Thank you for the input and perspectives on my last post.  I appreciated every single one.  They all made me think. I especially thank Gale, the veteran kindergarten teacher for her insight.

 Just to update....

~The reason I have not spoken to the girl's Mom is three-fold.  First, I do not know the Mom at all.  And I am not sure how I could possibly communicate the manipulation that I have observed to someone I do not know.  It would be a very uncomfortable conversation for any Mom to hear.  And I suspect she kind of knows her daughter's behavior.  Several other Mom's have mentioned it to me and it is only the 3rd or 4th week of school.
Secondly, there are "queen bees" everywhere in life.  I feel like my time and energy is best spent teaching/modeling for my children (and Kate especially at this point) how to be a good, loving and compassionate friend.  We cannot really change others but we can change how we react or deal with others.  I am also having play-dates with some boys and girls in the class that treat Kate respectfully (as a few people suggested in comments and e-mails).  It is SO hard to squeeze in play-dates with our schedule of homework, sports, music, dance and family time but I am trying.

Finally, if I approach the girl's Mom and she gets really angry and defensive... I still have to interact with her for the next 6 years.  I do not want drama.  I am trying to teach my kids to avoid drama. She is not going to change her daughter.  So at this point, I am not going to talk to her.  If things escalate and I feel like it could be productive, I might change my mind.  

~  I have not spoken with the teacher yet.  I just have not had the appropriate moment to do so. But I will.  Also, I can see that the teacher is aware of the situation and working on it in her own way.  I am in the classroom working with the kids a few mornings a week and I see that the teacher sees what is going on.  She is an incredible teacher.

~Finally, I am not as worried about Kate as I was.  She is OBLIVIOUS to what this girl is doing.   And she has done more. It goes right over her sweet little head for now.  

Most importantly, I got to see Kate's confident friendship skills in action this week....  A new boy from Korea joined the class this week and my sweet Kate took it upon herself to take him under her wing.  She was so excited to show him where to put his things and how to do his writing journal.  He sits next to her and she told me that she includes him at lunch and at recess.  She felt such compassion for him when he was sad the first few days and she tried to make him feel better.  I was so proud of her.  This is exactly the way I have tried to teach my peanuts to be. Kate has watched Harry welcome new friends from other countries at this school (it is incredibly international) over the years and I am thrilled that she knew just what to do.

I do not care if my kids are the "popular" kids.  I just want them to be the nice kids.  And they are.  Anyone who knows them would tell you that.

Oh and I asked Kate about sitting alone at the lunch table (someone asked if they had assigned seats).  Apparently, they walk in to the cafeteria in a line and sit at a table.  Once a table is full, they start a new table.  Kate had started a new table.  She was not being excluded.  I did not know that so I am glad I asked her.  I totally misinterpreted that situation.

And because I always need to include a photo...I wanted to show you that we have even been able to include Matilda Jane into our uniform rotation.  Did you know Matilda Jane made a few "uniform clothes" this summer?  These navy ruffles are the softest coziest navy knit.  We love them.

KateuniMJ0537

{Yes, I started decorating for Fall/Haloween.  I had to do it.}

Also, this week was the International Potluck Dinner at Kate and Harry's school.  Families bring dinner from their country to share.  It was lovely.  We brought "American" food but Kate wanted to wear her Chinese clothes.  She is very proud of her heritage.

Kateinternatlpl_0538

Have a lovely Fall weekend.
 I made some yummy fall foods this week and will be back soon to share the recipes/photos/links:)


17 comments:

  1. It sounds like you are doing lots of great things to help the situation and that you and Kate have a great attitude about it all. I love your comment about not having a goal of being the popular kids, but the nice kids. I taught elementary school for 15 years, including 9 years in Kindergarten. I stopped teaching when we adopted our oldest daughter from China. When she was in Kdg and first grade, she went through many times of girls being catty and mean. At first I hated that she was going through that, especially so soon, then realized that if she could learn how to deal with those kinds of situations when she was young, middle school would probably be a breeze. We talked a lot about how the person being rude or controlling is probably having their own problems and that she shouldn't take it personally. Like you, we talked about how to handle situations and to focus on spending time with kids that aren't that way. Since she was with those kids for the rest of elementary school, she learned how to handle those situations and became much stronger and more understanding. She's now in 8th grade and middle school has been so much easier because of what she went through earlier. She knows to not take things personally (sometimes easier said than done) and she has great self-confidence. I am certain that what she went through during those early years helped her to develop the skills, strategies and self-confidence that she has today. Hang in there! You are an amazing mom and I'm sure that Kate will only grow from the situation. It sounds like she has a wonderful teacher, too.

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  2. You guys are amazing parents.
    I would bet my left arm that the mother of queen bee is aware of her behavior...
    She had to have learned that behavior somewhere...
    I hope when I become a mom, I will be able to parent with the tenderness and loving understanding as you do with your kids.

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  3. Great resolve! Kate is going to do wonderful this year!!

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  4. I am just getting to catch up!! My favorite thing has to be the "me" doll. I especially love the monogrammed shirt!!

    I have to say, I always felt jealous of your apple picking fall pics! We have never done that! I think I would love to have a "real" fall too. I've always lived here...where we wear flip flops in January :)


    Talk soon!

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  5. Great post! I think you are handling it the right way. And, I love you statement about being popular. Nice is so much more important.

    Now, for a totally unrelated question. Where did you get your fabulous lamps on your sofa table? I LOVE them!!!

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  6. LynnieB,

    Thank you. I bought those lamps from a small shop in Houston about 8-10 years ago and the shop has since closed. The man who owned the shop made all the lamps and he made these out if old iron urns and corbels. I have often thought of updating them or changing them out so thank you for the sweet compliment. They are certainly one of a kind.

    Kim

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  7. Hay Kim,

    So annoyed by "queen bee" but you know they are everywhere and we see them too. Every class, every grade has them but with girls it is just more obvious. I too pray my kids are nice and I could care less if they are popular. I agree it is too soon to talk to the mom and I would let the teacher sort it out and knowing she is aware-- Im sure she will take care of it. You have 6 years with this woman-- you dont want it to be a horrible 6 years.

    On another note, Karen Yingling and the girls came over for swimming and lunch today. They just left. We had a great time-- I know you guys are friends so I thought I woudl mention it :)

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  8. I think you are making the right decision. You might remember my Elisabeth was tormented in middle school and high school by mean girls. Even going to the principal did not good for us. Elisabeth was naive and just the sweetest girl and just took it and took until well..you probably remember what happened to her. Teaching Kate at a young age is the BEST way. And making good friends and surrounding herself with those who have a heart like hers is important also. You are one fabulous Mom!

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  9. I think you should update and sell them to me. :) Thanks for answering - just my luck that he is out of business.

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  10. Glad Kate is doing well! I also had a little one to start kindergarten this year and was surprised at how much I worry about her. Things have changed so much since I was in school! I think you're addressing the situation appropriately. I hope Kate continues to do well in school! On a side note...I absolutely love the EAT sign behind Kate in her Chinese clothes. Where did you find it?

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  11. You are such a wonderful, mama!
    You are raising a incredibly well-loved, bright, confident and joy-filled daughter in Miss Kate :)

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  12. Your kids are blessed to have such an exceptional Mom. Your attitude is inspiring!

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  13. Kim,

    You are SUCH a good Mama! I love the way you handled this situation!

    You have proven fruit in Kate that what you are doing and how you are doing it is working beautifully!

    Thank you for your sweet comments on my recent posts:)))

    I wish you lived close!!

    Thank you for being such a bright spot on the blog world to so many and for being such an incredible example as a Mother and a wife.....

    Beautiful you.

    xoxo
    Sibi

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  14. I am new to your blog and just love it!

    My first day of kindergarten, the "mean girl" told me I was ugly and laughed about it. To be honest, I know I was not an ugly child. I am now 24 and still remember this comment, but it doesn't bother me. I remember my mom guiding me the right way and I was brought up to be a "nice" girl. From what I remember, the mean girl was very loud and I found her obnoxious so I stayed away. I also had to deal with her from K-8. By middle school I had dealt with drama, had a great group of girl friends, and I ended up really enjoying middle school. By then, the mean girl had her own group of similar friends and they had a not-so-great reputation.

    You seem like a fabulous mom and I'm sure Kate will remember your guidence years later :)

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  15. Kim! i am so sorry i have been away from reading/posting blogs for so long. when i read this i empathized so much with you. we went through the same thing last year with zoey's "best" friend.

    it is very confusing when it is a "friend" that is bullying. Kudo's to you and your amazing children. I did purchase thet book "My Secret Bully" for zoey and it was very helpful for her to understand the dynamics of this behavior.
    wanted to let you know we got our referral for our second! Fu You....soon to be Violet Mei. She has a very minor SN....lazy eye. we hope to travel in 6 months to bring her home!!! Posted on my blog! I have missed reading about your family!
    XO, Stacie

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Thank you for your kindness.