Friday, March 9, 2018
My daughter turns 13 in one week.
In her childhood, we focused a lot on kindness. Being kind to others. Love. Compassion.
But we didn't focus on another important part - being assertive.
Assertiveness allows you to stand up for yourself and for others.
Isn't it interesting how kindness and assertiveness can leave you feeling so vulnerable?
7th grade is a time where relationships are constantly shifting. One week, 2 girls hate each other. The next week, they are best friends.
The stories that my daughter tells me about the things people say to each other break me.
A girl telling a boy, in front of a group of people, that he looks sad. His reply - "It's because you broke up with me." She goes on to correct him, says she didn't... but she's dumping him now. Then she laughs and walks away.
That's just.... cruel.
Then other kids laugh at him.
Teagan sees his crushed heart. She sees his face fall.
She has compassion.
But she lacks assertiveness. She can't put herself next to him. She can't tell anyone to leave him alone. She can't put herself in the line of fire.
I believe that she will find her assertive voice. She will find her way of standing up for herself and others. I also believe that the times she falls silent now, the observations she is making, the times that she hears herself saying things she doesn't mean will all lead to her finding her voice.
It's all a very careful dance. She is still sharing so much with me. But she is also navigating the dance floor all on her own each day.