Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To valentine or not...

So my conundrum of the day is my daughter. When I explained to her about exchanging cards in the classroom, she got very concerned. "Even the boys?" she asked. "Yep," I told her. She thought this over for a long time before finally saying, "Okay, I'll give the boys one, but not Nicole."

Nicole has been a thorn in my side since my daughter started Pre-school. When my beautiful, innocent little girl came home the first week of school, and told me Nicole had called her a F******B**** on the playground, I was upset. And saddened. What pre-schooler knows these words enough to use them correctly, as was apparent when my daughter parroted them back to me? Ever since then, about once a week, my girl comes home with a Nicole story; smacking her on the head, making fun of daughter's best-friend, just generally being trouble. The teacher has spoken to Nicole's parents numerous times, but she persists in behaving badly. And not just with my daughter.

So, my issue is, do I negate my daughter's right to be independent, and make her give Nicole a card? Or do I let her stand up for herself, and not give her one? I know parents are supposed to be encouraging of the children and new relationships, but even I don't want this little girl to be my daughter's friend.

Do I sound totally terrible? This has really been bothering me for the past couple days.


  1. I'm so sorry your daughter is having problems with Nicole. It sounds like Nicole is crying out for attention and could use a friend.

    Sometimes it takes a hand in friendship to help those type of people. By not giving Nicole a card it is singling her out as special and I am afraid it would cause her that much more problems from the girl.

    If she does give her a card, it would show that your daughter is a better and bigger person than this girl. No guarantee she will accept that gesture of friendship but your daughter will know she at least tried.

    Just my 2 cents.


  2. Hmmm... Something to think about. I know she probably needs attention, I just don't want my daughter damaged anymore. I can't tell you how many times she's come home crying.
    Thanks for the input.

  3. Jennifer... My first reaction was to give Nicole the card and tell your daughter that it was the kind thing to do. And while that may be true, you are absolutely right that your daughter has the right to stand up for herself. And this may be her way of doing that. And it's not violent, or even rude as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure you would talk to your daughter about not going to school and announcing "I'm not giving Nicole a Valentine!" If I remember school Valentine parties at all, and if what my boys tell me is the case, you drop the cards in the Valentine boxes and/or bags, and the kids go through them on their own. The fact that your daughter doesn't give one to this girl might not even be notices by the other children.

    I don't think that your daughter not giving a card to Nicole is rude or mean. It's a very quiet way for her to say that it's not okay to be treated badly.

    I say you let your daughter decide!


  4. So sorry to hear your daughter is suffering because of Nicole's problems. But it is very important to remember this child is obviously coming from an angry, not-so-happy home.

    I know when it's your child it's difficult to feel sympathy for the agressor who insists on plaguing their existence. My son is 11 now, but I've dealt with this for years since he has a mild form of A.D.D. and insists on making a constant spectacle of himself. He gets picked on constantly by the other children because he's different. Luckily, he's outgrown them all by at least a head, and the bullying is getting less and less these days.

    But the point I was getting to is this -- something in that child's homelife is NOT RIGHT. It's very sad the behaviors children develop when they're missing something in their lives, or worse yet being abused in some way. Nicole is acting out as a means of getting attention. While I KNOW that doesn't make you feel any better, I don't think it would help anything to refuse her a valentine. As a matter of fact, it might single your daughter out to her as a target to pick on. "If she doesn't like me, then I don't like her either..."

    This is definitely a matter the school should be more involved in. If the parents won't cooperate, there should be counselors in place to work with the child. She has some agression issues that MUST be handled with kindness and understanding.

    I hope I don't come off sounding like I'm only on Nicole's side. I was bullied relentlessly as a child because my parents moved every other year. It was always a different school with the same old problems. It progressed until I was eventually beaten up pretty badly by a girl I barely knew in the 11th grade. So believe me, I am coming from a place where I can clearly see both sides.

    Maybe if someone would've cared enough about the girl who jumped me to help her with her problems, the entire incident might not have ever happened. Who knows...

    At this point, they're both still very young, and have a lot of growing to do. And I think teaching your daughter to fight anger with love and an open heart is never bad advice. Hope this helps a little. :o)


  5. Thank you so much for your comments. I'm torn because I agree with everything everybody said. When I was a deputy, I worked my last year there as a school resource officer, so I know about kids having problems. I have spoken to the teacher about the little girl, and I believe she has spoken to the parents, but nothing has changed. Just tonight Shelby came home with a scratch down her finger from Nicole. Again.
    I am going to sit down with my daughter and explain to her that it would be the polite thing to give Nicole a card, but if she still feels strongly about it, I'm not going to make her give her one.
    Thanks for all your input!

  6. Sorry to get here late. Fortunately you had lots of input from people who have "been there." Several years have passed since my son's Valentine parties, but I know there was some angst. If I remember correctly, he gave his least favorite cards to his least favorite people, but everyone got a card.