Kill Her With Kindness

Friday. My favorite day of the week. The excitement of the coming weekend. The completion of a work week. The potential of staying up really late and sleeping in the next morning {in days gone by}.

And so today began quite deliciously. Jackson slept in until 7:36am. A record for him. It was beautiful. And then he came slumbering into our room and crawled up into bed and snuggled and sucked his thumb and twirled his fuzz. A most delightful way to wake up.

And Maddie wandered in about 10 minutes later and the first thing out of her mouth was "I hate school." Hmmmmmmmmm. Just yesterday it was her favorite place to be. Being the intuitive mom that I am, I 'sensed' there was something going on, so I asked her if she was having trouble with any of her friends. And the answer was a swift and solid, "Yes."

"So and so is very mean to me. She's the meanest person in the whole world." {This happens to be the same so and so that she's struggled with all year, so this came as no surprise.}

{Because I was able to sleep in, I was on my "A" game, so I came up with this brilliant plan for her.}

Here's how our conversation went down:

Me: "What makes you say she's mean?"

Maddie: "She says she doesn't want to sit by me and that she doesn't like me."

Me: "Wow. Those ARE mean things to say. I'm sorry that she's choosing to be very unkind to you. That's not right."

Maddie: "And she says other mean things, too."

Me: "It's okay if you stick up for yourself Maddie and say things like, "Please don't say that. That's a mean thing to say and you shouldn't be mean." And if she continues to be mean to you, it is alright for you to say something like, "Until you choose to be kind to me I'm not going to hang out with you. I don't want to be around people that are choosing to be mean."

Maddie: "But I don't want to be mean back to her."

Me: "It's not a matter of being mean, it's a matter of speaking the truth to her. It hurts your feelings and it is absolutely unacceptable for her to be mean to you. You do not have to put up with meanness. But guess what? I have a secret that might help. Wanna hear what it is?"

Maddie: "Ya."

Me: "Kill her with Kindness."

Maddie: "KILL HER?"

Me: "With kindness."

Maddie: "I'm not understanding, Mommy."

Me: "Well, try this. Whenever she says something mean, say the opposite and say it loudly and firmly, but nicely. For example, if she says, 'I don't like you, Maddie." You can say, "That's too bad that you don't like me because I really do like you."

Maddie: "But why should I say it loudly?"

Me: "Because maybe if she hears the kind words coming from you she'll be embarrassed by her mean words. Just trust me. Be a little loud. It'll work. I promise."

Well, you get the idea. By the end of our ten minute conversation her mood had changed and she was ready to go "Kill her with kindness."

We were 10 minutes late to school and Maddie had to get a tardy slip, but I'd say it was well worth it. I prayed off and on all day, hoping that Maddie would indeed be kind, and that this other little gal would indeed get the drift that she could not walk all over Maddie.

And guess what; the little girl did start the day off saying something mean and Maddie said, "I killed her with kindness, Mommy. And it worked. Look at the picture she drew me. She was much nicer to me today. She's my friend."

Excellent!

I want Maddie to know that she can demand proper treatment. She's not a door mat. She can demand kindness, and if someone isn't kind to her, she can choose to not hang out with them until they change their behavior. That's okay. That's not being mean. That's being wise with choosing your friends.

So I was very proud of Maddie today. Proud that she stood up for herself. Proud that she choose to respond with firm kindness. Proud that she was a leader in the fine art of being a good friend. Proud that she gave this little girl a second chance.

Way to go, Maddie.

Comments

Dad said…
Way to go mama and way to go Maddie
Rachel said…
you are an awesome mum, i wish i had learned this at such a young age. i really do. thank you for teaching her that so young!

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