HashBrowns…January 25-February 1, 2013 Stand Strong

standstrong

The other day, my 7-year-old Coco came home from school in tears. Between crying fits, she told me that the kids on her bus were “being bullies.”

“Ya mama, they were being mean to her,” said her little brother Mr. Pancakes.

“What were they being mean about?” I asked, even though all I really wanted to do right then is run down the street, stop those kids and go all “mama bear” on their sorry…well, I’d better stop there and continue with the story. But let’s just say I was fuming.

“They said I look funny and my clothes are stupid.” said Coco.

Oh boy.

Ok, first of all, Coco is a non-conformist when it comes to clothing choices. The more colour and the more “quirkiness” she can put into the outfit, the better. Leggings under her short denim overalls, mis-matching coloured socks, bright pink snow pants, a toque with bunny ears, and a scarf with stripes that match nothing else on her body. And never, ever ask her to wear a dress.

The girl’s got her own style. And I don’t fight it. She looks like Coco. My girl with the non-conformist attitude and a zest for something different. Kind of reminds me of the woman she got her nickname from…Miss
Coco Chanel. If she has her body covered and the clothes are good quality and not too small, then what is the big deal if she doesn’t look like a kid from the Gap ad? So what if she wants to put her outfit together differently than the magazine stylists? Aren’t we encouraged to let our children have a personality of their own? Don’t we want our children to stand up and stand out? And for something as safe as mis-matching socks, you’d think…

But when your wee girl comes home crying, spirit crushed because ONE fourth grader decided to be mean…well, this mama began to re-think everything she had been telling that quirky Miss Coco. Should I make her change her ways so she won’t get bullied at school?

But then I thought again. I will not try to make my girl into something she isn’t just because of one bully. And so I told Coco this…

Do you like how you look? Yes, I thought so. Well, you know how you used fight mama with a fierceness I’ve never seen about what you choose to wear in the morning? Yes? And you know how I finally just accepted that you are who you are and you like what you like? Yes? Well, I want you to stand up for yourself just as you did with me. Have the courage you showed with me when you are away from me. You be you. Because “you” is the loveliest, strongest, most colourful “you” I have ever seen. And if those kids can’t see that, they aren’t worth your time. Walk away, little girl. And walk away knowing you are a smart and precious being with courage enough to be yourself.

And so she did. And she did so in her mis-matched socks.

Thanks for stopping by,

Arlee, Small Potatoes

ps…the photo on today’s HashBrowns was made by my oldest daughter, Miss Emily. She rocks it when she gets a camera in her hands. #proudmama

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13 thoughts on “HashBrowns…January 25-February 1, 2013 Stand Strong

  1. Judging by the pictures I’ve seen of her, she has a mature style that most people don’t have the confidence, let alone the creativity to pull off until they reach adult hood. My teenage girls wear character hats, heck, my 24 year old son in law wears a chicken toque, all my kids wear mismatched socks, and have their own unique style. I have always admired the photos you have of her, because she looks like she’s comfortable in her own skin, and that is a rare quality in one so young. She’s lucky to have a mom who not only accepts her for who she is, but who encourages her to develop her creativity. That young one is going places for sure!

    • Thank you so much, Kathleen…you have no idea how much I appreciate your comment. It’s hard when they don’t come with instructions…all you can do is what you feel is right and hope they come out ok in the end!

  2. You handled that so well, what excellent parenting. It is wonderful that your encouraging her to embrace her individual creativity. You should be proud of both of you. You older daughters photo is beautiful.

  3. Excellent parenting! Not sure I could have come up with such a concrete example of how she can draw on past success to help with future success. My 8 year old has very long hair. He refuses to cut it even though lots of kids say he looks like a girl. Not sure why he wants such long hair. He’s recently become quite sporty so it seems to me it gets in the way but we totally support him and defend him. He certainly likes to look different so I guess he realizes he has to deal with negative as well as positive attention. Since we homeschool, it’s much easier than what you daughter will have to put up with though. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for sharing, I’m sure others are having this issue, and they Will be inspired by your post. They will find a way of solving their issue. You did great addressing the issue with your daughter, and she will be alright. Be BLESSED, Mtetar

  5. It’s so hard to watch our little ones get hurt, we just want to run in and fix everything. As some of us heard our parents say growing up, it hurts me so much more than it hurts you, being a mother myself now I so get that. Great advice to your little one and so glad to hear that she got what you shared thanks for sharing your story with us. Sincerely, Jane from https://glutenfreeclan.wordpress.com/

  6. Awww… This takes me back to my childhood!! I was totally Coco. The girls would taunt me and dance around me saying “you’re tacky! You clash!” In grade three. Because I wore a polka dot skirt. I cried. But I didn’t change my quirky weirdness. And when i see them on visits home those same girls say how they like my style…whatevs…kids are scared of those who dare to be different because those who dare to adventure in self expression like Coco, have a confidence that the bullies wish they had…and Coco also has a mama that those bullies wish they had…it’s hard for her to understand now…but in a few years she will be able to smile about it xo

  7. My mom advice me to stand up, speak up and fight if necessary! In my childhood been bullied for my ethnics differences. And never once I back off. Life is funny, as we all grown up, I’ve met one by one those group of bullies by coincidence, none of them success nor dare to confront me. Best part is one of them even applied as my assistant lol… life so sweet! Even now I didn’t work anymore in that company still, mother support are the best in the world! Thank’s for sharing this article, become one of the best support for other Lil Coco out there! Greetings πŸ™‚

  8. I have been really inspired by your whole bento & sensory bin sections of your blog – but these posts over here take things to a whole new level. Thank you so much for taking the time to record this interchange. I really, really needed guidance on how to deal with my own daughter who is exactly like your Coco.

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