So imagine my surprise when my 4th grade daughter (last year) asked these questions...
- What does rape mean?
- The girls in my class sit on the boys on the playground and move around and say they are having sex. Is that what sex is?
- What is a slut? The boys in my class keep calling me that.
- What's a condom? A boy in my class told me he didn't use a condom so he's worried.
So here I was, having to explain these things to my 10 year old to ensure she heard the truth about these things and not what a bunch of other 10 year olds were saying.
Would you say I was all that shocked when she came home half way through the year with a 'secret' boyfriend? (not so secret because I may not be the best parent, but I can still see when she's lying or hiding something)
No, I was not surprised. I was disappointed that she hadn't talked to us about it before it happened, but not surprised. So again, Justin and I were having to talk to our 10 year old about things she should not have to be dealing with yet. After we talked about it, she decided she should break up with the kid.
Before you judge us to harshly about letting are obviously way-to-young-to-date daughter make this choice you have to understand something. She is a stubborn kid. We knew that if we 'forced' her to do it she would just do what she wanted anyway and then hide more from us instead of feeling comfortable to talk to us about stuff...even stuff she knows we don't approve of. So although this could have ended in her deciding to keep her boyfriend, at least she knew she could come talk to us about this sort of thing. And from that point on she has, but OH BOY is hard to stay calm sometimes.
So, here we are. Our 10 year old daughter is breaking up with her first boyfriend. It seemed to go well. They wanted to remain 'friends'. However, HIS friends were not as understanding. Slowly over the next few months they would begin to spread nasty rumors. They were saying increasingly hurtful things and getting more and more people to gang up on her. She was being ostracized by most of her class and we could see the impact it was having on all the other areas of her life. She was not doing a good job processing these feelings and things were happening...
- Outbursts of rage and yelling at teachers
- Cussing like a sailor's parrot (because she'd only repeat things she heard from school that she usually had no idea the meaning of)
- Picking on her siblings just to get a reaction
- Digging her nails into her skin until it bled
My poor, innocent, 10 year old girl was dealing with the nastiness that is the world and nobody was doing anything about it (obviously Justin and I were aware and trying to talk her through it). Every conversation with teachers/principal ended with a "we will get the kids together to talk out their problems". That was it. They would sit for a few minutes and each side would tell their side of the story and were expected to just move on. These kids attacking her had all the 'right' things to say during those conversations so nothing ever happened.
FINALLY, my now 11 year old snapped. She wrote this letter...
Hey, the reason I am writing this is because you and most of your friends are idiots like you. I wish you were never born and you were the biggest mistake I ever made. By the way, I already found some one. Tell Araya that she led and that we are just good friends now.
Worst Enemy (aka ex)
Now there is written proof that obviously Taylor is to blame for everything. Obviously, she's the one causing all the problems and being mean to these kids. Obviously. (In case you didn't pick up on it, that was sarcasm).
YES we know she did not handle things correctly. She should NOT have sent that letter and we told her that. But deep down I am sort of furious. These people are supposed to PROTECT our children, but here we are with the 'victim' getting the blame. Taylor is by no means innocent in all of this. I know that. I'm realistic. But how can we expect a now 11 year old girl to process all of this stuff that she is not mentally ready for? How can we not take her concerns seriously? Even if she was just flat out lying (which she isn't - exaggerating is likely, but not lying) is it not worth these adult's time to understand the heart of the issue?
I'm not saying it is their fault that she wrote this letter. But I am saying they are surely not helping resolve the issues so she's doing it the only way her immature brain can think of.