Greetings to you from our family! I hope this finds you well.
I am writing in response to some recent news that has traveled from my third graders' mouth to my ears. I felt it might be necessary to inform you that your child is a brat. In addition, I also thought it might be helpful for you to know that no matter how badly your child treats mine, I refuse to teach my daughters to get back at your child, to treat her the same way, to talk meanly to or about your child.
If I must be blunt... your child is definitely getting the good end of this situation. I will never stop teaching my daughters to be kind. To treat other kids respectfully and as she would like to be treated. And I will certainly never, ever, find it acceptable for my child to act like your child does not exist. Now none of this means that I am actively teaching my children to be doormats for your children, however, kindness and acceptance will always win in our family.
I've heard the phrase "The one who cares the least has the most power in the relationship". And while that seems to be a very accurate statement about human nature, and my husband and I can pick and choose when it is appropriate to embody that defense mechanism in our own lives, I know that my small daughters are unable to discern the proper times to enact that attitude. Therefore, even though I really, REALLY want to teach them this horrible truth, I will refrain. I will also refrain from teaching them to be self-absorbed and only care about how things affect them. I find it appalling, really, that most grown-ups don't understand the effect that their actions have on the greater picture so I will do my darndest to teach my children that their actions affect all the people around them.
Again, I find it necessary to point out that your child is really benefiting greatly from my parenting. Not only does your child get to act however she wants, not only does she only need to care about herself, but MY child will treat your child with respect and kindness regardless of your child's behavior or attitude. Congratulations on all of the advantages that your child has now and will always have in the future! She will forever be lucky.
I'm sorry that she won't have the opportunity to build character that will be noticed by others. I'm sorry that she won't have the opportunity to cultivate meaningful relationships with other people. I'm sorry that she won't be trusted in her adult life because she hasn't learned to take responsibility for her own actions. Those are tough prices to pay, but hey - she's pretty special in third grade, right? Thats what matters.
So I guess this is really a thank you note. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to teach my children these wonderful things. My heart hurts tremendously and I have shed many tears, but my children are being refined by the fire that your child has lit. Thank you.
Monday, October 04, 2010