How to Make Your Child Feel Special

 

I have one lonely daughter. She has four brothers. I used to feel bad for her, but then I talked to the resource teacher at school and found out she had grown up with eight brothers. I think she was the youngest of twelve children, so she also had sisters.

My daughter seems to think that her life would be exponentially better if only she had a sister.

I tried, I really did. But for whatever reason, God decided that one girl was enough for me. And I always say that I’d rather have four boys and one girl than one boy and four girls.

Not that there’s anything wrong with having four daughters. I am a bit of a tomboy and I guess God figured I could handle boys just a fraction of a hair better than girls.

 

Girl Drama

Maybe you know this, especially if you’re a Mom of daughters, but school-aged girls come with drama. I had heard about it. I had been warned that it would happen. But up until this year, grade four, I hadn’t heard much drama from my daughter. Other than the high pitched shrieking that happens whenever one of her brothers touches her or any of her “stuff.”

About a month ago, she came home from school at lunch and she told me about a girl in her class who was being mean to her. Even her youngest brother had witnessed firsthand this girl mimicking my daughter in a way that was clearly meant to hurt.

A few days later, another story came home. Same girl. Trying to make my daughter feel bad herself. Trying to let my daughter know that she didn’t belong in her very elite circle of friends.

Ugh. The Mama Bear in me was ready to rise up and fight. To let the mother of the Mean Girl know what her daughter was doing. I mean, if MY daughter had been doing that to someone else, I’d want to know about it!

 

What’s a Mom to do!

Rather than following my instinct to blow this all out of proportion, I chatted with a couple of my mom-friends about this. I left it for a few days before I finally decided to:

A. talk to the teacher about it, and

B. write my daughter a letter.

In my letter, I told her how much I had wanted a girl. How, after three boys, I had thought it was impossible that I could give birth to anything other than a boy.

How I didn’t believe the ultrasound technician when she said, “No penis.”

How I had bought a cute little “girlie” sleeper and brought it to the hospital…along with a blue sleeper. Then I decided to tell her about the pregnancy I had had with her. It wasn’t all fun and games. None of my pregnancies were, but hers began with a month of bleeding and passing clots. I had assumed I was having another miscarriage (I had already had two in 2004).

But a miracle happened. At 7 weeks, we saw the heartbeat, despite the bleeding.

My pregnancy continued on and the bleeding eventually stopped. I had a consult with a OB/GYN since I was under the care of a Midwife since my belly was measuring small. I had always measured 1-2 cm over “average.” They sent me for an ultrasound close to the 30 week mark and that’s when I was told I was pregnant with a girl.

I wrote this all out for her. I told her about the emotional rollercoaster I went through during my pregnancy with her.

Then I told her how she and I had had to stay in the hospital a few extra days because she was acting like a premie and sleeping instead of eating. I told her how I had worked hard to force her to eat.

I told her how the Doctor’s had threatened to put her into the NICU if she didn’t start gaining weight.

Then I told her how I had been sent home with the instructions that I shouldn’t hold her. I should just feed her and let her sleep.

Of course, I didn’t listen. I cuddled her and she began to thrive.

 

I have lots of stories about her that only I can tell. I have the important stories about all of my children. The stories that happened because I loved them enough, even before they were born, to put my physical and mental wellbeing on the line in order to meet their needs.

I made my daughter feel wanted and special because I shared with her the story of my pregnancy with her.

I think I made the best decision, all things considered.

 

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