By Anonymous, Mother
My oldest started kindergarten last year. Her absolute favorite thing is art and she’s always said that she wants to be a famous artist when she grows up. Within two weeks of school starting, she started saying that her “drawings are bad” and “I’ll never be a famous artist”. A little boy at her table in class had told her that she was “a terrible artist” and laughed at her pictures. She didn’t want to draw anymore. It broke my heart. She was only 5 years old!!! I immediately talked to her about bullies and how some kids are mean and that she should ignore him. We also talked about how to reply to his comments in a positive way if she wanted to do that instead. And I of course praised her art and pointed out specific things that I loved about her pictures. I also emailed the teacher who was absolutely amazing. She spoke to the whole class about bullying and spoke individually with the boy. She offered to move the other child somewhere else if any bad behavior occurred again and she made sure that the kids knew that they could tell her if someone was being mean (stressed that it wasn’t tattling.). Thankfully my daughter’s story had a good outcome and the boy actually became a friend of hers later on. And she’s back to loving art and planning her very own art showcase now. I credit the teacher with taking prompt action. What amazed me was how early this behavior could start (in kindergarten!!) and how quickly a couple of mean comments could ruin my daughter’s dream. I know that will not be the last incident but I hope that it helped both of us learn how to deal with mean kids and how to come out on top.