I have a daughter who is highly emotional. When she was in preschool and early elementary school, she would get upset at the smallest of things. She cried so easily. She blew things way out of proportion. For example, there was one morning she was freaking out because her waffle pieces had been cut too small. Tears for ten minutes. By the time she was ready to eat, the syrup had soaked into her waffles making them soggy. Ten more minutes of tears!
One morning in kindergarten she cried from her room, "I have no clothes to wear!" only to find her standing in front of her full closet staring at dozens of garments of clothing.
She would sit down in front of her classroom before school and refuse to play with the other kids, and become weepy if things didn't go just right. As a result, kids didn't particularly choose to play with her much, and by the time she started to grow out of this, her last couple years in elementary school, the damage had been done. By her peers she was already seen as the emotional girl who was unstable and cried all the time, although she had outgrown it.
So, she has struggled rebuilding her social connections.
I know how cool a kid she has become (and believe me, I knew why kids avoided her those early years, as well), and how much fun she is to be around now. I certainly wish more of her peers would give her a chance now, but I can't blame them. I can't.
It would be easy to say that their parents have raised mean little girls that are not accepting, but that's unfair. I could blame the school for not making other kids play with my girl, but that's not what schools are for. I could even blame my daughter for creating this reality for herself, and I did for awhile, until I realized she really didn't have control over it.
She didn't want to push kids away. She didn't want to cry eight times a day. She didn't want to have difficulty eating breakfast or picking out her clothes. It was what Nature gave her. It was her chemical make up. She has OCD and anxiety issues.
Yes, I want my kid to have a wider and closer circle of friends, but she doesn't and I can't blame others when this issue came from her. Do I wish kids would give her another chance? Sure.
But, I write this today because sometimes when our kids are having trouble with peers at school or are doing poorly academically or can't perform well in a sport, it may not be the fault of the other kids, their parents, the teacher or the coach. Sometimes it's just who our kids are.
Maybe our job is to focus on them instead of blaming others. Are they knuckleheads, lazy, slackers, mean or are they trying, but this is just who they are? Because, not everyone is a social butterfly, a genius or an athlete. So, instead of blaming others for our children's deficiencies, we need to accept who they are, light a fire under their butts, or support them along the way.
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