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Blind sided by that sweet little baby of mine....


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Tigher June 10, 2008


What to do?  I do not know what I am feeling?  Appalled, betrayed, flabbergasted, embarrassed, angry, confused...


But more importantly I need some advise on how to handle it, because I KNOW I blew it.


My lovely daughter, so excited to get her first middle school yearbook.  I had her name embossed on it with her clubs and sports.  A beautiful thing.  I went to put on the protective cover and she is just beaming, " Do you want to see the boy I have a crush on"? 


Of course I do, what Mother in her right mind would not want to see her daughter's first "official middle school crush"?


As I flip to "his" page I notice other pictures that have been "X" out, names written on them, in permanent green magic marker no less.  


What is this I ask her?  Oh, those are the kids I don't like, or annoying girls... you know THOSE kids.   


I hit the ceiling, not the house, but the one the air traffic controllers are always talking about.   I asked her what she was thinking?  How would you feel if you saw your picture "x"'d out with Ugly written at the bottom?  She said she would feel sad, and angry.  


I ended up sending her to bed with a bag of pretzels and threw  the yearbook away. Grounding her (no electronics)until I can figure out what to do.   She yelled and cried and said what a bad person she was and that she does not like what she did.  


Am I over reacting?  She did say all the other kids were doing it too.  Is this a case of peer pressure run amuck? 


Now she wants me to buy her a new yearbook.  I can not even begin to get my mind around that request.  Not only do I feel like she does not deserve it, but we are talking $38 bucks here. 


She is a good girl, does not get into trouble,  A's and B's, participates in team sports (softball and cheer leading).


What to do? 


 


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dhfl143 June 11, 2008


Could you buy her the yearbook and have her do extra chores or find some way for her do some sort of work to reimburse you for the $38 for the new year book to replace the one she defaced?

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mom23ga June 12, 2008


I think you did exactly the right thing. I hope that your daughter is a good girl, beyond the mean girl antics, and your response shows that is what you expect from her.

I do think the weakest excuse is "everyone is doing it". This is not true and only certain people she would follow. So this statement can be flushed out more. Unfortunately her group of friends is doing this and most likely following one or two girls (sadly, the mean girls usually have other girls as followers).

I've recommended to another mom to read Queen bees and wannabes and Reviving Ophelia. Don't give up your loving, kind daughter without a fight. She's going through a lot of changes but losing her authentic self to these groups of mean girls is just not okay.

All the best,

Melissa

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dhfl143 June 12, 2008


I wanted to clarify my respone. I probably would have reacted in a very similar manner. In my daughter's school, if anyone X's out pictures or writes defamatory comments and it is reported...they automatically loose the yearbook to the school and could face other consequences. My sugggestion was offered as one possible compromise.

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hockeymum June 12, 2008


It's a memento whether spoiled or not that she will never have again if you throw it out.
I think she made a mistake but I doubt she will do that again.
I would give her back the book and explain next year she will purchase the book with her own money and that you have expectations of not drawing on the pictures. If you need to repruchase one; I would make her use her own money.
Too me she sounds like a good kid otherwise who made a silly mistake goofing around with her peers. I remember the exact same thing happening when I was in grade 8. In fact this has given me a great idea to pull up my old ones and show my daughter some of the comments people wrtote. Its a good reminder how something seemed funny at the time but in retrospect its really tacky and silly(escpecially when people use bad language).

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momstheword June 12, 2008


Hi Tigher,

Wow, I can see what made you angry and I can see how hurt and confused your daughter is since she realized how far apart the ideals of you and her friends are! She wants to please both ~ who wouldn't at that age! Maybe "Xing" out other kids isn't so bad ~ maybe she and her friends have been "Xed" out of other books and she knows and accepts it. Then again, it isn't nice, is a waste of a beautiful yearbook and has caused you to react to protect the dignity of your family and your morals. All that is wrong. Anything that dehumanizes/compromises integrity of another is wrong, definitely wrong.

Allow for "calm down" time. Probably this has happened by now and you can both talk. A woman recently lost her daughter to suicide when the daughter was duped into believing she had a boyfriend over the Internet then dumped by same and called "weird". We are all weird in our own way and wonderful, too.

Tell her to be a leader among her peers and teach her to lead them away from harmful behavior. If you belong to a church don't be hesitant to talk to the pastor. Children act like they don't want rules but they really respect another child who is willing to stand up for what is right. Tell your daughter this and she will listen. It sounds like she wants to please you but is afraid to go against your peer group. She probably just needs moral support.

Good Luck.

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michellea June 15, 2008


My daughter did the same thing in 5th grade and I blew up. When I demanded that I see the entire book, she proceeded to tear it up. Finally, I rescued the pages, sent her to her room and put the book away for safe keeping.

When we both calmed down (it was a day or two before we could talk about it), we discussed the issue. One of the issues we discussed is how this was bullying and disrespectful. It was especially distressing to me that number of kids that received SPED services and are often out of the classroom were targeted. Her own brother fits this profile and we discussed how these kids may find it difficult to connect when they are away from the mainstream most of the day. We also talked about how this kind of bullying can happen on IM - something she had been begging for.

I remember that she was not able to get a screen name that summer as a consequence. I don't remember if there were other consequences, but it hasn't happened again.

I was so disappointed in my daughter. I realized then how "immature" and thoughtless they can be at that age. These situations are teachable moments. I wish that the learning came more naturally!

I did save the book and gave it back to her later that summer. When she looks at the ripped and rumpled pages, I think it is a good reminder of her mistake.

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boxbandit June 15, 2008


I realize how upsetting this is to see a book damaged and to see what is written in it about other folks, but the book was purchased for her. Unfortunately, she is the one that has to live with what she has done. I don't think that you should purchase another book for her, she needs to deal with what she has done. I believe that she has fallen under the peer pressure thing of MS...She will be the one who will have to explain to her friends what happen to "johnny's picture"....I believe once you and she have calm down you will be able to talk about how sad it will be when she goes to look at this book, 10 years from now....Just chalk this up to..The Middle School Years....

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healthy11 June 15, 2008


I don't know if this is useful information or not...my son's middle school didn't have a yearbook, so his first opportunity to buy one was Freshman year of H.S. I believe it was $45.

Sure enough, just as you found, I discovered that my son had drawn over various people's pictures, and even obscured his own (or maybe someone else drew on his, I couldn't really get a straight answer.) I was livid.

Believe it or not, I'd just attended a "significant" high school reunion of my own, and had taken mine along to the event, and people I barely even knew were thrilled to glance through it ~ I'm so glad I hadn't done anything to deface it...

Obviously, I couldn't "undo" what he had already done, and I let him keep it, but I decided that if he didn't care to treat it as a keepsake, I wouldn't spend money to buy one in the future. Instead, what I've done is to "borrow" a yearbook from a classmate, and made xerox copies of the pages my son appears on.

He actually just completed his Senior year, and I decided (unbeknownst to him) to order an actual book, figuring he may really want to look at it "down the road" but I won't actually give it to him until he's in college, and can appreciate it more.

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MagnetMom June 15, 2008


Since we're all being honest here, when I was in third grade, *I* did the same thing. I took a black crayon and filled in the faces, along with an asterisk and the words "I like mud." I don't know why, but in 4th grade I didn't deface the pictures.

I don't recall my mom talking about it, and I don't remember being upset or embarrassed by it. I remember doing it to both the kids who picked on me, and the kids I didn't like--and I can't at this point, literally 30 years later, which kids were which. Much later down the road I remember wishing I hadn't done it, but I didn't throw it away, and it's still in the box with all the other year books.

I'm not saying it's right, but in some cases it can be a case of feeling some power over the kids that are doing the picking on.

The year books you definitely don't want to look at are the high school year books. The stuff they write, will make your hair stand on end.

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GoBuffs July 22, 2008


Get her a new year book, but deliver it with an opportunity to discuss feelings. Something like "I may have overreacted, but I would love for you to share with me why you did this". I did the same thing when I was in Jr. High. It ended in Jr. High. It was not peer pressure, but I did write mean things, mostly about other girls who were not nice to me. Some who were bullys, and some who were always trying to hurt my feelings. It was my private yearbook, and I was in Jr. High, I did not have the confidence then to stand up for myself, I just did it as a get even and it did make me feel better (which is probably wrong, but nothing at that age seems to be right) Anyhow, many years later, I was showing my yearbook to my son and he is also in Jr. High, and he thought I was completely stupid, and said that some of the girls at his school do the same thing. So, its a long time thing, not new and still goes on. If she is using profanity or just doing it to be mean, that is one thing, but maybe its just her way to strike back without anyone knowing.



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