My children have always been… lively. I don’t mean tear the place apart ‘lively’ but they are most definitely a couple of noise-makers. So much so that one of my very good friends has branded them the ‘screechies’… they do enjoy the sounds of their own voices.
Our home is filled with noise… sometimes, I’ll admit, it is too much for me to hack and I yell up the stairs ‘STOP SHOUTING’ which I realise is probably one of those ironic parenting moments.
They were a double act at nursery, everyone knew them, their personalities were hard to miss but I’ll admit I was worried when M started school back at the end of September last year. She is a larger-than-life child… a big mop of curly blonde hair, the height of a seven-year-old and a voice highly reminiscent of a fog horn (sorry darling). I was concerned she’d be too ‘full on’ for her classmates and a handful for her teacher. She wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, nor was she cheeky or rude or a disruption… but she was excitable.
School seemed to mellow her (though why is it that school starters seem to change personality over-night and seem like they’re five-going-on-sixteen) and she settled in nicely. She took on two sports: swimming and football, and after a bit of a bumpy start academically, really started to show her potential in her studies. At her most recent parent-teacher meeting when Miss asked if we had any questions I leant forward slightly, with furrowed brow and asked ‘Is she kind.. is she nice to people’?
I don’t think her father really understood why I’d bother to ask such a thing… surely that’s not what we were there for… right? Wrong. Above anything I want my
daughter children to be kind. Popularity isn’t an issue to me and a lack of strength in academics can be worked on… but to be kind to others isn’t something you just simply learn or work harder at. It’s a way of life… one I have strived to raise my children to be. I was relived when her teacher said that yes, she was and that she had lots of friends and was always willing to help both the adults and the children. I sighed happily and sat back in my seat with a smile.
I don’t mind if she’s a little bit cheeky from time to time, or if every now and then she ends up on the orange part of the behaviour chart (usually for chatting) or even the red… she’s a child and needs to learn appropriate behaviour. The liveliest children are the children who push for answers, explore outside of their comfort zone and challenge the world around them. I don’t mind if she’s a little bit naughty… what I will not tolerate under any circumstances is having an unkind child. I will not have a bully for a child.
As someone who has been bullied their entire life by classmates, work-colleagues and even family I would be mortified to find that either of my children were ever anything but kind to others.
So if M doesn’t know who the naughtiest girl in her class is… it’s because it’s probably her. And I’m okay with that.