Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hannah LOVES spending time with friends.  She loves to be busy and social.  She enjoys spending as much time with friends, family and cousins as possible.  I am a middle-of-the-road social person. I enjoy time with friends, but I love my home and my down time and need lots of it to stay centered in life.  So when Hannah is constantly asking to play and have friends over, we've had a learning process on how to find the right mix, as well as working through friendships.

Last year she started a friendship with a girl that lived across the street and was a year older.  She wanted to be with her every minute and they even went to the same gymanstics place.  I thought it was fine, but I started noticing some things about her friend, that for privacy reasons we'll call Megan, that I didn't like.  She never asked me for things, she would get Hannah to, she would do things I told them not to do behind my back and be  secretive.  Then her and Hannah started fighting and together they got into big trouble at school.  So I would say they needed a break, and then the drama would start again.  They would yell at each other and constantly say, 'I'm not your friend".  Megan even punched her and called her a bitch!!! WHOA!  Then her Mom would come over asking what was wrong. It was too much for me. I like a peaceful household and I don't tolerate drama. At all.  Then Hannah started saying Megan was mean if Hannah didn't do what she asked.  Then when new neighbors moved in with two girls Hannah's age, and Megan told Hannah they were her new friends, she was never playing with her and Hannah couldn't play with them.  Oy.  That was my breaking point.  There is a lot more to this story, but I'm trying to keep it short!

So I told Hannah not to walk to school with her anymore and Megan started calling her names.  I won't tell you about the major drama from her Mom acting like a high schooler but basically in May I had enough.  Megan came over and I told her that Hannah was no longer ever, going to play with her.  She was a bully, and I, as her Mom had to look after what was best for her and their friendship was not good.  Hannah didn't have a problem with it, she was sick of her too.

  I noticed Hannah much happier and she played with another girl in the neighborhood.  Just yesterday the girl comes over with her Mom asking why she couldn't play with Hannah-AGAIN.  I patiently and kindly told her she had done things Hannah didn't like, and I thought it best they didn't play together.  Although I feel bad for this child, as kids don't normally act this way, I had to hold my ground.  I told her I wasn't trying to be mean but the friendship wasn't good. 

I felt sooooo bad!! But I knew I had to do it.  Megan's mom (who was speaking to me the first time in months) said some friendships don't work out.  And off they went.  I really hope Megan learns what her actions do to others and I am so happy the drama is over and Hannah is back to playing with sweet girls in the neighborhood. The new neighborhood girls aren't friends with Megan now either and their Mom won't let Megan in their house.  My heart goes out to Megan, she obviously needs someone in her life to help her understand the consequences of her actions.

It's been a lesson for Hannah and I to learn.  Hannah learned how to stick up for herself and that accepting someone treating you so badly is not a friendship.  I had to learn to set boundaries on friends and listen to my gut, and teach Hannah what a good friend does and doesn't do.  I hate to tap into my Mama bear protective side and say enough is enough.  I'm sure as she gets older there will be much more to learn but I really hope she understands a bit about respecting herself from this. There will always be bullies, unfortunately.