My oldest two daughters are like night and day. One is a sweet, kind, even-keeled with touches of over-the-top drama, people-pleasing peace maker. The other is a determined, strong, compassionate, fiercely loyal and feisty leader. Surprisingly they co-exist nicely with each other and are usually the best of friends, with the occasional worst of enemies moments.
They both made me proud to the point of tears this week. Both daughters had friends who were being bullied because of their size. The bullying upset both daughters. One daughter originally chose to walk away as her coping method. The other chose to initially be mean in return. Both daughters had heart-to-hearts at bedtime and then came home with similar stories.
When Determined Daughter witnessed more teasing, she got in the face of the other little girl and told her in no uncertain terms that she was not to make fun of her friend anymore. Her delivery was rough around the edges and bordered on returning insult for insult, but in the grand scheme of things, I was so proud of her for standing up for her friend. The confrontation resulted in a "meeting" between the girls and their end decision was to "stop being mean and stay friends."
Peacemaking Daughter stepped out of her comfort zone and today instead of walking away, sweetly confronted the girl who was being mean. In her kind, gentle way she said, "What you're doing is mean and wrong and I don't want you treating my friend that way. You need to stop it." The other girl paused, said, "Okay," and walked away.
I can't help but wonder about the ripple effect of my daughters' actions. Will those precious kids who were being teased have a better school experience now? Will the girls who were being mean think twice before they tease again? And will my two very different daughters stand a little taller and a little prouder for doing the right thing even when it was difficult? I think so.