The Impenetrable Shield of Protection

Bear with me as I continue to process our transition to a two-day-a-week school and seem to only share the yucky things. There are actually a LOT of good things and, overall, it continues to feel like a good fit for our family. But nothing is perfect, darn it.

When I picked up the girls today, Maddie greeted me at the door with tears in her eyes. “I got teased today,” she said. I knew it wasn’t an ordinary tease as she can handle fun joking pretty well. I pulled her aside and asked her what happened. She said that one of the girls noticed she was in the lower level math (with Chloe) and that Chloe finished before her. The girl thought it funny that the younger sister was faster than the older sister and made fun of Maddie for it.

I asked her how the teasing made her feel and she said it made her feel sad and hurt. I asked her how she responded to the teasing and she said she didn’t really do anything, just finished her math. I told her I was proud of her for working hard at it and trying to give it her very best, as that was what mattered and not someone else’s opinion of her ability. I hugged her tightly and secretly plotted how I could intervene in the classroom and make that other kid really, really sorry for what she did.

As we got in the car and drove home, I reminded Maddie of the principles we’ve been learning in the Young Peacemaker when someone begins a conflict with us. “So basically,” I said, “you have three choices: you can ignore it, pretend it never happened, and hope it just goes away. Do you remember what that was called? Escape, or peace-faking. You can get mad and argue with her over it. Remember that one? Attack, or peace-breaking. Or you can try to work it out by talking to her calmly about how her words made you feel. That one is called peace-making. It is the hardest of the three to do, but it is the most important one to try. Then, if she doesn’t respond to your attempt to make it right, you can get help from your teacher or from me.”

Who needed to hear that the most? Me. My job isn’t to step in at first offense and mama-bear every one around until all problems are solved, though I so desperately want to be able to provide that impenetrable shield of protection for her. I simply can’t. I can walk her through it, hug her through it, pray her through it, and if needed, get her through it if I do need to step in later in the proper order of things.

But I need to let her wrestle with this a bit first, and that’s a very hard place to be. For both of us.

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “The Impenetrable Shield of Protection

  1. Christy says:

    Aww. What a good mama you are. I just added that book to my wish list. I’m really grappling with conflict between my kiddos right now. Sometimes I’m completely at a loss as to how to teach them with practical instruction beyond “be kind,” “be loving,” “stop causing trouble,” “talk to each other nicely,” “don’t throw a hotwheels car at your brother when you get mad!” (Ahem.)

    Like

  2. martha10 says:

    welcome to the real world of parenting:) teaching children the right way to go and giving them the choice to go that way and the time to choose rightly. it is SO much harder than legislating everything they are to do, but i think the long-term results are better in terms of relationship and internalizing their spiritual learning.
    the waiting while they process what and how they are going to put God’s Word into practice, is often difficult…especially if you are like me and have strong mother bear instincts:)
    i wish we had had that book when my kids were young. i know i needed it…still do. it is so basic to life…with other people and with God! m

    Like

  3. susan says:

    I have felt those very thoughts- someone in a biblestudy once shared that she struggled to want to “save” her kids so many times in their lives and yet, that if she did, they would never know their need of a savior who loves and protects and cares for them. It stuck with me and is what I think about as I send them off to places without me šŸ™‚ thanks for the reminder about peacemaking- I am encouraged to use the same conversation with mine!

    Like

  4. Renae says:

    Well, you know we’ve had our own problems with this kind of issue in our family… I’m there with ya. I so want to step right in and fix my daughter’s social dilemmas so that she can do what *I* think she needs to be doing at school, not worrying about all this *relationship stuff*.
    I’ve always remembered my mom saying that when we were in school, she made it a point never to get involved in school-friend tiffs… it always drove her crazy when some of the other moms would step in and try to solve their kids’ problems for them. Now, she may have erred in the other direction… I wouldn’t have minded some advice and counsel here and there, but it’s been a point well taken.
    I like your peacemaker approach. I’ll have to share that with my daughter.
    The “impenetrable shield of protection” makes me think of Violet in The Incredibles. That would be really cool, wouldn’t it? Maybe it would even get you through those traffic jams on the way to school.

    Like

  5. Christy says:

    Aww. What a good mama you are. I just added that book to my wish list. I’m really grappling with conflict between my kiddos right now. Sometimes I’m completely at a loss as to how to teach them with practical instruction beyond “be kind,” “be loving,” “stop causing trouble,” “talk to each other nicely,” “don’t throw a hotwheels car at your brother when you get mad!” (Ahem.)

    Like

  6. martha10 says:

    welcome to the real world of parenting:) teaching children the right way to go and giving them the choice to go that way and the time to choose rightly. it is SO much harder than legislating everything they are to do, but i think the long-term results are better in terms of relationship and internalizing their spiritual learning.
    the waiting while they process what and how they are going to put God’s Word into practice, is often difficult…especially if you are like me and have strong mother bear instincts:)
    i wish we had had that book when my kids were young. i know i needed it…still do. it is so basic to life…with other people and with God! m

    Like

  7. susan says:

    I have felt those very thoughts- someone in a biblestudy once shared that she struggled to want to “save” her kids so many times in their lives and yet, that if she did, they would never know their need of a savior who loves and protects and cares for them. It stuck with me and is what I think about as I send them off to places without me šŸ™‚ thanks for the reminder about peacemaking- I am encouraged to use the same conversation with mine!

    Like

  8. Renae says:

    Well, you know we’ve had our own problems with this kind of issue in our family… I’m there with ya. I so want to step right in and fix my daughter’s social dilemmas so that she can do what *I* think she needs to be doing at school, not worrying about all this *relationship stuff*.
    I’ve always remembered my mom saying that when we were in school, she made it a point never to get involved in school-friend tiffs… it always drove her crazy when some of the other moms would step in and try to solve their kids’ problems for them. Now, she may have erred in the other direction… I wouldn’t have minded some advice and counsel here and there, but it’s been a point well taken.
    I like your peacemaker approach. I’ll have to share that with my daughter.
    The “impenetrable shield of protection” makes me think of Violet in The Incredibles. That would be really cool, wouldn’t it? Maybe it would even get you through those traffic jams on the way to school.

    Like

  9. Margaret says:

    Good one. Finding the line is difficult. I find my children get along well with my close friends’ children, perhaps because we allow them to work it out themselves a lot of the time!

    Like

  10. Margaret says:

    Good one. Finding the line is difficult. I find my children get along well with my close friends’ children, perhaps because we allow them to work it out themselves a lot of the time!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s