First , Do no harm.

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Kate Emerson Ru Ourlastname is not perfect.  She takes forever to eat her dinner (and has become quite a finicky eater).  She can throw a fit like nobody's business when she  has finally reached her limit of being told "no.".  She has great difficulty with the number 6 for some reason.  And she'll take to whining when she is tired (she gets that from me I think;).

But really, the girl is full of JOY.   She literally dances through life. I am not even kidding.  EVERY SINGLE DAY she says it is the best day ever!   Our friends have begun to make a joke of it even.  She is the definition of an optimist. And I love that about her.

She does not know how to be mean.  She is nice to everyone.  Unfortunately, not every little girl is nice to her.  In fact, one of the things her teacher has told me this year is that not only does Kate not know HOW to stick up for herself but she does not even know WHEN she should stick up for herself.  She is kind of oblivious. I would not say that Kate is a pushover or a doormat.  I would simply say that she is trusting and she is innocent and she is sweet. One little girl has manipulated Kate a lot this year at school and I have predominantly stayed out of it but tried really hard to teach Kate how to be assertive and to find other friends more like herself.  But Kate (bless her heart) sees the best in everyone and I really don't want to change that.

The other day Kate said, "Mama, maybe I should tell "queen bee" (not her real name) about Dale."

ME: Dale?

KATE: Yes, she might not know about Dale.

ME: Who is Dale honey?

Kate:  You know Dale Mama!

Here I am wracking my brain thinking that my hypochondriacal early onset Alzheimer's is rearing its ugly head again.

ME: No, what is Dale, honey?

KATE: You know that place that you go if you don't go to heaven. Dale.  It rhymes with JAIL!

Me: (Laughing)  Oh honey.  That is called Hell. (I guess the way we say it in the south it could rhyme with jail!)

Kate: Yeah, I am gonna tell queen bee about hell cause she might not know about it and maybe she'll be nicer if she does.

Me: Maybe we should not talk about hell in kindergarten, Kate.

I can honestly say that it seems Kate is learning to finally stick up for herself a little bit.  Her teacher told me she asserted herself last week in violin with a girl who has been tormenting her all year.  The girl shoved a stinky sponge in Kate's face after Kate had repeatedly asked her politely not to (according to both Kate and the teacher).  Kate had told her several times to stop.  She then said something completely inappropriate to the situation but we were so proud of her for finally finding her voice!  And we rehearsed more appropriate ways to handle it next time.


I was reading a fabulous book recently (more about it soon) and during a eulogy of sorts one character describes another as someone who might not have made an indelible mark on the world but she lived like a physicians oath, "First, do no harm."  That is a beautiful way to live.  That is the way my daughter lives and I hope she always does.

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33 comments:

  1. I loved reading this post. Kids can be cruel and I am glad that Kate stood up for herself. She is adorable, love her chalkboard notes.

    BTW, I tried the Blue Bell icecream here in Beaufort, SC and it is to die dor.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you...glad you liked the Blue Bell. it is good stuff.

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  2. She sounds EXACTLY like my firstborn daughter (age 5 1/2), who is also in kindergarten. They are kindred spirits!!! So sweet!

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    1. Erika....wish they could have a playdate:)

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  3. Go Miss Kate!!! Her logic behind teaching Smarty Britches about "Dale" and you replying "Maybe we shouldn't talk about Hell in Kindergarten" completely had me laughing! I hope Kate continues to find ways to stick up for herself while being the sweetie pie she seems to be! She'll learn one day, others are only so mean because they are jealous! ;)

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  4. My son who is now 21 had the same issues at school. He would sit with the girls at lunch because the boys were too mean. I feel for what both of you are going thru. I used to read to Emilio "Grover goes to school". He loved this book and it helped him understand how it's okay to speak up for yourself. If you get a chance pick it up and see if Kate would enjoy the book. It's been a long time since I read it but I remember how Grover tried to please everyone to the point where the kids were taking advantage of him. Different circumstances I know, but the general moral of the story is to be true to yourself. Dale is not mentioned anywhere in the book!! :) I hope this helps.

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    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I will look for that book. Luckily, Kate is very, very well liked by her classmates. She has a lot of friends. There are just a few can be manipulative to the sweet ones.

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    2. My daughter recently started attending a boarding school and even at 16 she is having the same situation at Kate. At times she is able to stay clear of these girls and cherish the "good" friends, but their are times when that isn't possible. It's just part of life and Oh so difficult to weather through. My heart breaks when she calls me up to tell me some "debutant" snubbed her or went out of her way to be mean to my kiddo. I feel that as long as they have unconditional love and support at home the sting isn't as bad. (Fingers crossed on the last sentence!)

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  5. Have you read Queen Bees and Wanna Bees? I taught middle school and that book was so helpful!! It's much harder now that it was when we were in school. At the end of the day, Kate will end up being the stronger woman...sweet girl! Too cute!

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    1. Yes, I have read that book. I have even posted about it. Such a shame that this drama starts so young.

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  6. Oh my word. I love that Kate and I love this post. I know what she's going through and I hope the other child learns to be more like Kate, she is a great example for the other girl.

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  7. Kate sounds sooooo much like my Carissa and doesn't understand when friendliness isn't reciprocated. It is so hard to teach kids at this age that some people just aren't nice.

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  8. Beautifully written; one of my favorite posts!

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    1. Thank you Glinda. I hope you are settling in well with your precious loves. I need to check in on them:)

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  9. Oh Kim..this breaks my heart..I too, have a little girl(now9) who is also trusting, loving and giving! we have been the victim of our neighbors cruels words..the child, girl her age, who is so mean to her when she has a friend over, but as soon as friend leaves she is my daughters BFF again..and guess what? my little girl always..as she says "take sher back" because she said I told her a wrong, doesn't make a right..treat her with kindness and she will soon know that is the way!! I love KATE!

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  10. Dale! Heh! I love her mind. She's a smart one to bring that up! I got a good chuckle!

    Jill

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  11. Some kids are mean, aren't they! Sweet Kate -- love her idea to tell her about "dale!" This book may be a little old, but Amer Girl has some guide books on friends and friendship that you could probably read to her with some really good advice. 4th grade drama starting at our house and the AG book has really helped. Take care. Hope you are feeling better!

    janet

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  12. Dale! I'm laughing out loud sitting here at my computer. I do believe she is on to something and maybe Dale should be discussed in kindergarten. No kidding Kim, that could be the title of a children's book! :)

    My girl is similar. I've found the best way to encourage her to be around the kind of friend she is to others is to invite those girls to our home. And, with a couple of years of school behind her, she has found her footing and better recognizes the girls she wants to be around. No doubt, Kate will do the same.

    Back to Dale... thanks for posting!

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  13. :( Have you shared "A Bargain for Francis" with Kate? Great message.

    Good luck. And thanks for such an open post!

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  14. I just love reading about sweet little Kate!

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  15. Kate is so adorable Kim, so sorry about what it is happening to her, so similar to my V, now that she is a little older than Kate I started reading the American Girl books, they have a lot of "Smart girls guides to", like for example: "a smart girl's guide to: knowing what to say", and other ones. They help, they have a lot of examples situations.
    I also ask a psychologist and she suggest to me to avoid those friends, so I try not to have play dates with them all the time (we live in a building, so do they) , but I do not want to avoid them, I think girls should learn how to deal with it and still be kind, there are mean girls everywhere.
    Lol about Dale!!!
    Love the post

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  16. Kate is so adorable Kim, so sorry about what it is happening to her, so similar to my V, now that she is a little older than Kate I started reading the American Girl books, they have a lot of "Smart girls guides to", like for example: "a smart girl's guide to: knowing what to say", and other ones. They help, they have a lot of examples situations.
    I also ask a psychologist and she suggest to me to avoid those friends, so I try not to have play dates with them all the time (we live in a building, so do they) , but I do not want to avoid them, I think girls should learn how to deal with it and still be kind, there are mean girls everywhere.
    Lol about Dale!!!
    Love the post

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  17. Oh that has been a battle for us too. We have a sweet boy, and finding ways for him to assert without squelching the sweetness is hard. He has become more confident as he gets older (almost nine!) but I will take the sweet spirit and deal with the rest. Glad Kate is finding her voice to stick up for herself...it's so hard!
    Laura

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  18. If only more young girls were as sweet as Kate. Well, she gets it from somewhere - you are a really great mom!

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  19. This is my favorite post I have read all day! From the mouth of babes! My husband and I are watching a video series called Shepherding a Child's Heart. Sounds like you guys are doing a good job:) I pray every night my child is not the mean one in school, but on that same note, I cry when I think of anyone being mean to him...ah, parenting! and I'm only 12 months in:)

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  20. I love seeing life through the pure, clear heart of a child! Kate has a great perspective; she's very sweet!

    It is so hard to teach children to stick up for themselves in ways that truly empower and protect them yet don't contribute to the mean-spirited culture. The kids at school who try to hold all the power, draw so many children in. One of my daughters has been having a lot of trouble this year with the bullying behaviors of other kids (taunting her about race, adoption, etc.). The school stepped in and that has help so much, but it is sad that kids can be so mean. They are so young; it's sad.

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  21. I just read the post to Neal and we got quite a chuckle about Kate and "dale". I can just picture her going into kindergarten and telling queen bee about dale. Oh, ha ha ha. Hugs to Kate. :)

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  22. I just read the post to Neal and we got quite the chuckle out of it. I would love to see her telling queen bee about dale and trying to set her straight. Hugs to Kate, :)

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  23. What a special kindhearted sweetheart gem of a little girl you have there, Kim. My heart swelled just reading about her. She reminds me so much (right down to her dimples) of my niece.....sweetness normally reserved for candy! And it was too funny about "dale".......people like her are so endearing...our world needs more of them. Even when equipped with all the mean words and things to say to "do battle" its just not in their heart to do so and I have such a profound respect and admiration for those that have hearts that are that good and pure. Their footprint on this world will be one of pure innocence and goodness....you should be incredibly proud!

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  24. What a great post Kim!! So happy that Kate is finding her own "voice" and standing up for herself. Good for her!! I had to giggle about "dale"......she is so cute!!

    Hope you are enjoying your weekend!!! I think you are in San Antonio for Judo??? Hope the kids did well!!!

    xoxo,

    Lisa

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  25. Landree said something similar when we were talking about asking Jesus to live in your heart. She said, "yes, when you have Jesus you don't have to go to jail."

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Thank you for your kindness.