There is a jerk kid in my daughters class. You know that there are tons of jerk kids in the world, and there's bound to be at least one in your kids classroom, but it's disheartening all the same when you discover the jerk kids identity.
I came to know the jerk kids name one morning while helping my daughter get dressed for school. She wanted to wear her pink jeans and I ran upstairs to her closet to grab her a shirt that would look good with them. The shirt was white with long sleeves. It has a picture of Justin Bieber on it. My daughter loves this shirt, or rather loved it. She got upset when I showed her the shirt I brought downstairs for her. She said she didn't want to wear it because Jerkface (I'm protecting his real identity) makes fun of her when she wears that shirt. I was outraged when I heard this. Let me remind you that my sweet child is in FIRST FREAKING GRADE!
I got her a different shirt that morning, and I sat my kid down and had a little chat with her. It started with the most important point of all, "Why the hell do we care what Jerkface thinks about anything? I can tell you right now that Jerkfaces opinions aren't more important than yours. Do you feel the need to tell Jerkface what to wear and what music to like? No, you don't, because it's not your bees wax. Jerkface needs to mind his own bees wax. To each their own dollface, to each their own." I was pleased to watch her process the teasing from a more empowered perspective. There is nothing wrong with a six year old girl wearing a Justin Bieber T-shirt, especially when we just went to his wonderful concert a few weeks ago. That was an amazing experience for my kid and she loves the music. It infuriates me that a six year old jerk boy feels it necessary to rain on her parade. What does he know? Not a damn thing. Last time I checked Jerkface wasn't the authority on fashion and music, I know this because that would be me...kidding. I sent my child to school that day with the absolute best tidbit of advice that I could give her. "Jerkface is what we call a "hater" and let me tell you what haters do. Haters gonna hate! There's nothing we can do about it, except ignore them. Their hate isn't worth your time."
She went to school that day and she gave Jerkface a piece of her mind. She also shared with him this adorable bit of information, "My mom was very mad at you for making fun of my shirt." I was glad that she let him know that she told me. I volunteer in her class once a week so I know exactly who Jerkface is. I do reading tests with him every week. When I went to school yesterday, he was on his best behaviour with me. I didn't say a word about the teasing, but I could tell he thought I would. I was glad that my daughter handled it herself. This is probably the first of many incidents of this nature. I'm genuinely trying to instill my child with self confidence and I hope she grows up to be self assured. I don't want her to question her opinions or to be ashamed of liking the things she likes. Most of all I don't want her to ever believe that any one elses opinion of her matters more than her own. She is a sweetheart. She is pure and full of all the great stuff that makes a little girl giddy and innocent. If someone tries to rain on her parade, I intend to hold a giant umbrella over her.
I asked my daughter if she hates anything enough to become a hater and her answer was perfect. "I hate throwing up frosted animal crackers. That was so gross and I won't ever eat them again! I hate them!" Now there's something worth hating. Take note Jerkface.