my heart

careful to label

I posted on Facebook earlier about a situation going on at the girls’ school.

Ryder is in a bit of a situation where she is being “bullied”. I’m so careful to even say that word because I think we live in a society that is quick to cry “bully” and not quick to teach their children appropriate behavior or how to stand up for themselves.

Ryder has had a few accidents of peeing in her pants at school. She told us she just didn’t know why she did it. She said she forgot and did it in her pants. There were several off the wall explanations. After the third time I thought maybe she even had a UTI or something but she wasn’t doing this at home. What breaks my heart the most about this is that I disciplined her for it, thinking she just wasn’t going when she needed to (on her designated potty breaks) and possibly playing in the bathroom instead.

Turns out, she got very scared in the bathroom last week because the lights were turned out on her.

Ryder FOR SURE has mild anxiety- and sometimes it goes to extreme anxiety. I don’t deal with anxiety myself 99% of the time, so this has been a new deal for me.

Today she came home very upset because apparently her pants had been pulled down in front of everyone. I’ve had this happen to me before and know how mortifying it is.

I am beyond mad. Furious. Ryder is about 1/5th the size of this child who has picked on her. So it makes me even madder and more protective. I want this solved like YESTERDAY. I can’t even begin to express how my heart is burdened for my child who already deals with anxiety.

But then….

I have a child who at one point (in Savannah) was labeled the “bad child”. When I say Rory struggled her 3rd year of life in school, I MEAN SHE STRUGGLED. She had a teacher who wanted her to be in a box of perfection like the other kids. She made it KNOWN that Rory was bad. Rory would come home and say, “I want to be a good girl but I’m just bad.”

One of my biggest regrets in life, not exaggerating, is that I didn’t pull Rory out. I went to the church that the school was at and went to the principal and director several times about the issue. It was never addressed. WHY DIDN’T I PULL HER OUT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am my child’s voice! I completely failed her on that. She struggled until we moved and still for a few months after to build her confidence in herself back up. I am so thankful for her teacher that celebrates Rory for exactly who she is.

Man. That is such an understatement. I am literally sobbing thinking of my stupidity of not pulling her out and how much I failed her as her parent and her advocate. I’m sobbing because I am so beyond thankful that God sent us here… for Rory. Y’all, I’m not even kidding…. I’m about to burn some bridges saying this – but when we lived in Savannah, I was so scared that Rory would be so stifled in that town that she WOULD be a “bad kid”. I knew she was bigger than that town and that she needed more for her life. I prayed every day that God would intervene because of that.

So this is where I play devil’s advocate a TINY BIT.

I do not want this child to be labeled. I do not think it is the same at all because Rory has never had issues with hurting others constantly or “bullying”.

But maybe she doesn’t have an advocate standing in for her? Maybe her home life isn’t great? Maybe she has something going on psychologically?

What if she isn’t meeting her potential that God has for her because there is no one pushing her to be the best kid she can be?

What if this is a cry for help?

I do not think this kid is a “bad kid”. I think she doesn’t even know where to begin on making the right choices. I think  maybe she gets away with things that my children never would because she doesn’t have a mom and dad that say, “SWEETHEART I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO LET YOU BEHAVE THIS WAY.”

Where do we draw the line on labeling? The child is YOUNG. No more than 4. So she obviously hasn’t been “trained up” to behave the way we expect 4 year olds to behave, OR, she obviously is having some issues that are coming out through poor behavior.

I don’t want Rory to be labeled as a bad kid because she is strong willed and too smart for her own good.

I don’t want Ryder to be labeled as difficult because of her anxiety.

I don’t want this child to be labeled because of her actions either.

This is not to say that I won’t be standing up for Ryder. I WILL NOT LET MY CHILD BE TERRORIZED.

I will never, EVER EVER EVER, make the same mistake I made with Rory again. Ever. I will ALWAYS advocate and fight for my child. If that means maybe Ryder needs to go to another school next year, then so be it. I will be sad, yes, but will not put her through this another year. I hope that it doesn’t come to that because I love the school, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

I’m going to be praying for the other little girl. Praying for her heart and for her parents’ heart to be changed. I’m going to be praying that she gets the help she needs.

And I’m going to be praying for my precious Ryder, that she recovers from this and that her anxiety won’t be taking over anymore because of this situation.

I appreciate all of your feedback and encouragement. Thank you for always loving my children. FullSizeRender

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