Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Assertiveness Training

On Shabbat, Raphaela started playing around in a dangerous way while crossing the street; I dragged her out of traffic and to the sidewalk, chastised her because she does know better, and explained how dangerous the street and cars can be to little girls and big Mommies.  Angry at me for destroying her fun, she sat there for several minutes, quietly but with a scowl on her face.  Then she stood up, pointed her finger at me and said (in Hebrew), "Lo Naim Li!" [some version of "I am not happy with what just happened..."]

I told this anecdote to her nursery teacher today, and the teacher's surprising response was, "Thank Goodness!"  I asked her to clarify her reaction, and she explained (without providing specific names) that she and the rest of the staff had been concerned that Raphaela as one of the youngest in the group, was getting "bullied"(her word, not mine) by some of the other older children;  the staff felt that they must help Raphaela stand up for herself and teach her to be stronger, to defend herself from other children's attacks.  They have apparently been working on her assertiveness, and my story let them know that they had achieved their goal.

Out of trepidation and a bit of anxiety, I asked if she was still being bullied, and was assured that is "much less...much better."

On the one hand, I am grateful that Raphaela's teachers took the personal interest and the time to develop a 'program' and give my daughter the confidence she will need to function and succeed in an aggressive Israeli society.  On the other hand, as a mother, I feel that if there was some problem in this area, I should not have heard about it after the fact, I should have been informed earlier.

Truthfully, every time I have picked up Raphaela from Gan, she is clean and happy, plays with the other children and does not want to leave, and so I assumed that all was well.  I continue to trust the framework in which I leave her every morning, for an almost nine hour day, five days a week.

But this epiphany also explains Raphaela's less than optimal behaviour at home for a period of time at the beginning of 2012, and it shows me that my maternal instinct, my gut that all was not well proved correct;  that I must trust my inner voice especially when it comes to my daughter. 

1 comment:

SuperRaizy said...

I agree with you. The teachers should have let you know earlier that your daughter was being bullied.