If you read my articles on Lifetime Moms you know I bear it all- and this summer has been no exception, especially in regards to my daughter's bullying experience at her day camp. While I let her attend three weeks of camp- the last two of which chipped away relentlessly at her self esteem and then made the decision to send her to a different camp- my husband was vehemently opposed to my decision.
Here's how the conversation went:
Me: “Honey (I always preface every conversation in which I know I will be attempting to get on his good graces by addressing him as Honey) our daughter has morphed into a sullen depressed middle aged woman taking to her bed each day after camp. That spark and excitement she had about the summer– has all but dimmed. I really feel like the best possible thing would be to take her out of this situation.”
The Sugar daddy: “Our daughter needs to learn to adjust to a bad situation. Not all situations are going to be ideal she has to grow a thicker skin and adjust and make the best of things.”
Me: “But HONEY, this is the summer- she has eight weeks to just be, to enjoy, to be a kid to be free and well she seems like a prisoner of war as opposed to a happy go lucky camper. This camp situation is literally sucking the lifeblood from her. She is saying she CANT wait for camp to be over. THIS IS NOT the way a summer is supposed to play out– NOT under my watch.”
The Sugar Daddy: “Prisoner of WAR? I can't say I agree this camp is on par with prison.”
Me: “YOU are a man, you cannot begin to fathom the way girls can be to one another, how insidious and harmful their chatter can be- and how it can break a little girl's spirit. Boys just are not the same– or at least as far as I can tell our son has never had any kind of emotional turmoil from other boys on this level.”
The Sugar Daddy: “I would have made her stay and stick it out. It would have ultimately-I'd hope- strengthened her character and helped her to see that the world is not this shiny place. That life is hard and you will need to adjust to your environment and sometimes be uncomfortable.”
Me: ” I understand where you are coming from but I also feel like, this was a no-win situation for us. These 11 year old girls could get a slap on the wrist- but their words, whether in hushed tones or via texts would likely continue. There is just so much adults can do to stem this type of virulent bullying bad-girl behavior. And yes in a perfect world, we could make her stay and in doing so she'd develop a stronger sense of self and learn to tell these mean girls to KISS OFF and let their antics roll off her back. But our girl just doesn't have the type personality to withstand such kids-she is too weak and gentle. She's not learned yet that sometimes you will need to be a CATTY BITCH to survive, and honestly I'm not so sure I even want her to internalize that message just yet. Not at 11 years old.”
I could go on and on with our sparring because it has now been one week and a day since we switched our daughter and while I have seen her old self reemerge as if from this dark cocoon, since being in her new day camp setting , my husband still feels I made a mistake.
So I put it to you dear thestatenislandfamily.com readers…what would you do?