You know when you’re sitting in the roller coaster and it pulls away from the station and you get this feel like awww crap, here we go? Yup, that feeling. I mean I’ve heard older parents say it a million times, “Bigger kids bigger problems,” but you don’t really know WTF they’re talking about until you’re there yourself.
Wahhh, I miss the days of my baby waking me up at 3am because his paci dropped out of his mouth. Pop! Back in his mouth!! Problem solved. I mean sure there were some challenges, like when the tooth fairy forgot to come because she drank a little too much vino before bed.
ME: Uhhhhh, yeah, well the fairy castle had this uhhhh, emergency last night, so Fay Fay was all tied up and she said she’d come tonight instead.
ZOEY: How do you know?
ME: Because she told me.
I can’t believe I thought THAT was a problem. Now when I look back I’m like oh mannn, was that easy. Because I can feel the problems getting harder now. Much harder. Like here’s what I dealt with this week.
ZOEY: This is the worst day ever!!! (tears welling up)
ME: Honey, it’s just a little spilled milk. Is something else going on? Was everything okay at school?
ZOEY: Uggh, no. Greta and Libby are fighting again and I don’t know which side to be on.
ME: Hmmm. I don’t always know the answer, but I do this time.
ZOEY: Whose side?
ME: Neither. You’re friends with both of them so you do NOT pick a side.
ZOEY: But there’s a chart, and you have to write your name on it to show whose side you’re on.
ME: A chart?
ZOEY: Yeah, some of the girls started a chart and Greta has more people than Libby so I don’t know.
ZOEY: And Libby’s feelings are hurt.
ME: I’ll bet. Zoey, you know what those girls are doing who made that stupid chart? They just want attention so they’re stirring up drama. Don’t be a part of that.
ZOEY: I’m not going to sign it.
ME: Good for you.
ZOEY: But what if Greta and Libby are still fighting tomorrow?
ME: Then you have two choices. You can either put a smile on your face and help them smile too. Or if they’re making you feel bad–
ZOEY: They’re not doing ANYTHING to me!
ME: I know they’re not, but if the way they’re acting to each other is making you feel bad, you might have to go find some other girls to play with.
ZOEY: But they’re my friends.
ME: Totally, but your friends should make you feel good, not bad. Right? So if you can smile through it, awesome. But if you can’t and it’s hurting you, you need to look out for yourself.
ZOEY: (thinks about it) I’m going to find some other people to play with at recess tomorrow.
ME: Great. And when your friends stop fighting, then you can hang out with them again.
Was this the right answer? I wasn’t sure. I mean I want her to be loyal to her friends and stick with them through tough times, but not if it’s hurting her. Because this time it’s a fight, but who knows what it’ll be down the road. Smoking, cutting, drugs, other things I don’t even know about?? Who knows? And I want her to know that sometimes you do have to walk away, just to protect yourself.
(the next day after school)
ZOEY: Mom, Mom, Mom!!! Guess what?!!!
ZOEY: I have a new best friend!! Her name is Akari. She just moved here!!
ME: That’s awesome! So are the other girls still fighting?
ZOEY: (shrugs) I don’t know.
So did I do the right thing? (shrugs) I don’t know. But I do know this. She came home with a giant smile on her face, so I must be doing something right. I think? Maybe? Hopefully? I guess we’ll see.
Have your kids dealt with drama at school? Feel free to put it in the comments down below because we’re all in this together.
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