"Learn to love yourself, so that you can teach your daughter how to love every inch of who she is and who she will grow to be. It's called rewriting history." --Treka L. House
So we recently moved to a new state and of course we all had to start from scratch. We are a military family and that's just the life we live for 20+ years. It's much easier for adults to adjust and become aclimated with their environment than children. My daughter is accustomed to the many transfers that will happen until she graduates from high school, but it doesn't make it painless. She actually cried when she found out that we were moving clear across country and her first words through her tears were, "mom, I have to make new friends all over again." I had to be honest with myself first of all, I have no idea how she feels, I'm from a small town and I had many of the same friends starting from kindergarten. I met new people as I transitioned from one classification to the next, but I still had the same people that I knew from the beginning, so I didn't have to start over, it was simply a bonus for me.
Unfortunately, I don't understand what my children go through, still I do my best to empathize with them. My daughter is in fifth grade and her anxiety subsided when she met a friend her first day. She was happy and comfortable, which made me happy and comfortable. Then she had a scheduled medical appointment on the weekly short day, so she missed the entire school day. No big deal, right? Well, her new friend was upset with her for missing class, stating that the extra class work fell on her, because they work in groups. That was false, since the teacher ensured that my baby girl completed her missed assignments. I explained to my daughter that you can't control the thoughts of others or even sooth issues that are beyond who you are. I encouraged her to explain to her friend that life happens and there may a time where she misses class as well and it'll be no big deal. My daughter followed my advice; however, her friend was not satisfied with her answer. She gave my daughter th silent treatment and pressured my child with guilt over something beyond her control. As a mother, I was baffled, as I couldn't comprehend how a ten year old would be upset over someone missing class. The issue that really emotionally touched me was seeing my daughter cry, yet again about making friends. The guilt in me began to mount as I wanted to go into hero mode to save my child from something I really couldn't. My soul cried with her, I hate to see my children hurt, but this was different. I had to sit back and remember being ten and I thought about what I would say to the ten year old Treka. I commenced to pointing out all the amazing things that makes her unique. We all know that it feels good to have a parent gas you up, though everything I said was true, it's different coming from me. All I could do was encourage her to exhibit confidence and to understand that people are drawn to that. I told her about me and how it took me years to appreciate who I was and to love all of me, despite how others felt. I redirected her attention to a site called Kids Health,which horned in on how to deal with these particular issues. It has videos and articles from other children that relate to what other kids deal with.
Now don't get it twisted, my great-granny boasted and bragged about me all the time. However, children can be so cruel and I remember being made fun of for being so skinny. I allowed others to determine how I felt about me. That's not something I wish for my children. As a daughter, I was never reassured the way I try to comfort my daughter. No one knew what I dealt with, I just internalized it, only to have in follow me throughout life. So much so, I didn't even realize what the issue was. I decided to rewrite history with my own daughter and give her everything I needed as a child and more. I make conscious efforts to be her first fan and number one cheerleader. She understands that everyone will not be her friend or the need to be grateful for who she is. She also realizes that her family will love her and be here for her, no matter what. When children hit certain stages in their lives, relationships become more important to them and it's imperative that parents stay on top of their emotions. Children fall into depression too and it's so unfortunate that children tamper with other children's self-esteem, often driving them to the thoughts of suicide. It up to the parents to remain active, supportive and loving to eliminate a child from feeling like they have no purpose here on earth. I may not be able to save my children from every situation, but they will know that they have parents who will cheer them to the finish line. Teach your children how to love themselves and help build their confidence, so that they know how to weed out the associates from the true friends, without losing who they are.