Sunday, February 24, 2008


I drive carpool every other week. In the afternoons, it is only Princess and her friend, "M". On Friday, Princess and her friend were telling me about their time on the playground which I will get to later. One particular boy, who I will give the original name of "boy", really likes Princess. She has had a crush on him since the end of last school year. This boy's family has had some hard times lately with his parents' divorce. He has a stuttering issue as well that makes him a target of his peers. Princess accepts him just as he is and has a heart for him. It doesn't hurt anything that he also likes horses and they pretend to be horses when they play together. As the year has progressed, they have matured and play other games besides the horse game. King and I have a "no dating" rule. Crushes are not encouraged, but as part of life and maturing, they are inevitable. We have chosen to use this relationship as a teaching one.

"Boy" is providing us some great teaching material! Last week he brought a pocket knife to school and showed it to Princess on the playground, swearing her to secrecy. Being the obedient gal that she is, she told me about it rather hesitantly as she didn't want to break his trust.

This past Friday on the playground, a group of kids surrounded "Boy" and were teasing him. Someone suggested he pretend to be a bull which he proceeded to do with gusto. He began headbutting everyone in his path, knocking my little carpool buddy off of her feet when he hit her in the stomach. The girls then told me how "Boy" makes Princess do whatever he wants her to do. He holds her wrist in a way that she can't get away and drags her places. All kinds of alarms go off in my head when I hear things like this. Then Princess told me about "Boy" and a friend making the sign of the cross in the dirt and stepping on it, then holding her wrist and trying to force her to do the same. She was greatly frustrated and wrenched away from them, using her foot to erase the cross from the dirt.

This is the point where I talked to the girls about boundaries. "Boundaries are good for you in all of your relationships. You will be a good friend to "Boy" if you tell him your boundaries and then stick to them. Tell him you are a lady and you will be treated like a lady." I went on to encourage them to involve an adult to help them if someone was violating their boundaries, in this case, "Boy". As elementary kids, this is a small problem. If this boy does not learn his boundaries and thinks he can force a girl to do what he wants ... this could have huge and devastating effects in 5 years.

At times I wish this friendship with "boy" would disappear, but I am learning to be thankful for this struggle. Princess is learning how she wants to be treated. She has a compassionate heart and I can see her as a teenager falling for some smooth talk from a hurting guy. Now is the time to teach her boundaries ... for her safety and well being. In our society, it's been pretty easy to teach virtue as there is so much material available as negative examples. What is a little harder for me is the more elusive topic of honor, respect and boundaries.


Jamie said...

I'm just now catching up on your posts from the past week. Thanks for sharing things like this. I learn so much from you.

flowerpot said...

Thanks, Jamie! :)