Yesterday while going through a post where a mother mentioned how her husband’s transferable job and constant shifting affected her daughter’s school life. She used to be a chirpy girl with a lot of friends but now in the new school she is being teased and sidelined. Nobody wants to take her in their group. Now that chirpy girl is quiet and sad and detests going to school. The mom wanted a solution to make her daughter happy again.
I could so relate with the little girl. I myself have studied in 5 different schools, different boards, and I know the feeling. I was a studious girl who though not extrovert had her share of friends. But once I had to change a school in class 9 things became different. I was bullied in that school, no girl wanted to add me in their group, the mentality was extremely conservative, and I hated going to that school. I would end up crying many times, sometimes in front of my mom, sometimes alone. My grades also dropped. I started withdrawing into a shell. Those were the teen years, which affect the kids the most. I started missing my old school, old friends, and wondered why my dad changed his job.
It took me a lot of years to come out of that shell. In between I had to face body shaming too and that further broke my confidence. People don’t realize how damaging their words can be for a child. They simply pass a comment and laugh it off, but that moment breaks a child even more. It took me almost 10 long years to be happy in my skin, make more friends, be more outgoing.
That’s the reason I always tell my children to make any new child in their class feel comfortable, go and talk to them. The higher the class, the more difficult it is to adjust. Of course, there are children who can do that easily, but then there are people like me who can’t! Those years of my life cannot be reversed back and made happier. Those years taught me a few lessons:
- Never bully anyone, be it as a child or as a grown-up.
- Try to make a new person feel comfortable in that unknown environment.
- Never body shame any child/adult. It hurts badly.
- Never take advantage of their vulnerability.
That little girl will also learn her lessons in the harsh way, which will make her more stronger and practical. Her mother’s heart will break to see her upset and lonely. Parents can help only to a certain extent. I simply hope that girl soon finds good friends and becomes happy and chirpy like before.