“Mama Bear” by definition: A woman, especially a mother, who is extremely protective of a child or children. We have all been there right?! I believe there is nothing more scary than a mama bear protecting their baby. It’s a very overwhelming feeling to make sure that no harm in any way comes to our babes. As my girls are getting older we are inevitably coming up against more situations that make my mama bear instincts flare. I want to bubble wrap them from disappointments, hard lessons, unkindness, gossip, failure, literally all of it. The hardest part for me is to separate the times where I need to step in and protect them and the times that I need to buckle up my mama bear desires and let the situations play out with quiet advice from the sidelines. Our biggest goal is to help our girls become capable and smart. To treat unkindness with strength but love. To apologize if we have hurt someone’s feelings unknowingly. Most importantly to never have a victim mentality.
We had a situation recently, where one of the girls was up against a little bit of bullying. As soon as my girl shared the situation with me, my hackles went up. I literally lost sleep over it for days. I gave her my best advice on how to calmly diffuse the situation but the behavior got worse over a couple days. She calming went to her on day one and tried to talk it out to see what the root of the issue was. We discussed at home what she may have done to the little girl to make her react like this all of a sudden. We wanted to make it better but weren’t sure how. I always want the girls to look at these things from someone else’s shoes in case they unknowingly hurt someone’s feelings. To be sensitive to other’s perspectives. To never be reactionary. The next day behavior really ramped up. It was just getting unkind and I really had to make the tough decision on to step in or not. My thoughts went straight to “I’m going to discuss it with the mom”. I would certainly want to know if one of my girls was being unkind. I discussed me stepping in with my girl . I never want to take action without her knowing. I like us to be a team on this sort of thing. I had to weigh the worst case scenario in my mind. If I stepped in with the other mom, what would the ripple effect be of that? 1. I am now potentially spotlighting this other little girl and making her even more mad at mine which could lead to more unkindness. 2. I am not letting my girl deal with her battles herself. How will she ever know how to handle these sorts of issues in the future when I’m not there to step in? After lots of thought, I explained to her that I wasn’t going to discuss it with the mom and why.
So here is what we did. We decided to build a couple scenarios to practice what she would say if certain things happened. I’m a big fan of being mentally prepared for potential confrontations so you aren’t caught of guard. Being prepared I’ve always found keeps you from feeling helpless, frazzled or the situation escalating. Our big goal was to not allow someone to mistreat her but also deal with it kindly and firmly. She needed to stand up for herself. We decided on “ Please don’t talk about me behind my back. I would really like to get back to being friends again.” If gossiping was continuing. Another option for if unkind behavior was happening would be “ Please don’t be mean anymore, I would really like to be friends again if we can”. The truth was, my babe did still want to be friends with this girl and I agreed. Thankfully, the little girl snapped out of whatever was bothering her the next day and all went back to normal so my babe didn’t have to use any of our scripts. Phew! Crisis averted and I’m so happy I didn’t step in like I really wanted to.
I know this was a very little hiccup for my girl and there are so many serious bullying issues that so many mamas have to endure with their little ones. My heart breaks over it! I pray we help our babies be strong and brave and always enable them to stand up for themselves kindly.