This afternoon, through teary eyes, she told me about a boy in her class who turned to her and told her, “You CAN’T do it.” Like any good mom, I tried to piece together what actually happened and the context of those hurtful words.
The back story to this, would be, that school is hard for our daughter. Extra hard. Which mostly means that she has to work hard. Extra hard. Thankfully, she’s mostly always been up to the challenge. She puts in 110% even though it doesn’t always show up in the percentage of her grades. And throughout the years, what’s stayed consistent is her desire to do well and her desire to work hard at everything she’s faced academically.
So you can imagine how much those words affected her. And how much they affected me, as her mom. Because when your child’s heart hurts, your heart does as well. But I quickly pushed those feelings aside and thought things out. Then I grabbed a big handful of tiny Pokemon (they were the ones that she found during our Kids Pokemon Hunt and were sitting on her dresser) and this is what I told her.
“Ellee, hold out your hands. What are kind and true things that people have told you this past week? For every one, I’m going to give you a Pokemon to hold.” So we talked about how her teacher had complimented her outfits and her friends had said kind things too. She remembered how her Dad told her every night how she was an amazing, wonderful, beautiful, brilliant creation of God. We talked about how overall she was a kind friend and how helpful she was to so many. We also talked about the many, many things that she could do well. Her hands quickly filled up and were soon overflowing with the tiny toys.
Then I picked up one and said, this one stands for the one mean thing that her classmate had said. We compared all of the good things, to that one mean thing. And I told her how it was her choice on what she decided to think about. How she could choose to focus on the one bad thing, or how she could instead be so thankful for the many good things.
She got the point. And soon started to giggle holding all of those good things. And life moved on. We walked downstairs, where she cut and peeled apples and made her very first mostly-all-by-herself apple pie. I was so proud of her. And we all agreed that if grades were given for apple pies, she would definitely get 100.
Life isn’t always going to be easy. And sometimes people will tell us hurtful things that we’ll want to dwell on. But it’s always our choice to dwell on the good. It’s something that I’m working to teach our daughter, and something that I’m working to teach myself.