Being TOO Nice
I wrote a poem a while ago about my mom not teaching me to be mean. So, a lot of times I just say yes or agree to do things because I just don't want to be rude and say no.
I'm getting way way better at it but on Sunday, I saw Natalia playing with these two little girls and they were trying to draw and Natalia had a pen. She was the only one that had a pen. The little girl said "I don't have anything to write with" and Natalia handed her the pen she was using in a heart beat. She said, "Here you go" and just looked back at her notebook and didn't seem bothered at all by the fact that now she didn't have anything to write with.
I didn't say anything. I didn't know what to say I just looked over at my sister and she shook her head and mouthed, "Ay, too nice." She doesn't have much room to speak either, she is literally the "nicest" person I know. I never hear her bad mouthing people and she is always giving everything, her time, her talents and her love.
This isn't the first time something like this happens. My daughter's things go missing all the time and when I ask her where they went she always ends up telling me, "I gave it to my friend because her mom doesn't buy her any" or "my friend didn't have one and I felt bad for her."
A couple months ago, was the worst of these episodes. She had a friend over. Natalia loves Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, so far I haven't noticed anything degrading about their music etc so I think it's okay. For her 6th birthday one of my friends gave her a Justin Bieber poster, she hung it up in her room. Her friend doesn't like Justin Bieber. So, when she was over she drew all over Natalia's poster, words like idiot, dummy, etc.
As she was walking out I noticed she had a bag with some stuff in it. Her dad was at the door picking her up. She didn't have a bag when she was dropped off. I asked her about the bag (which was really hard for me to do.) She said "oh Natalia gave it to me." I said "oh." Her dad didn't say anything. He just opened the door they said bye and left.
I went to Natalia's room and asked her what was in the bag, it was a pair of sandals and a doll. I asked her why she gave it to her and she said because she didn't want her to be mean to her at school and cause she told her didn't have sandals. I saw the poster and I was really surprised because I know that Natalia doesn't know how to spell the words on the poster. I am aware she can learn things outside the home but I asked her curiosly what does this say on your poster, and she didn't know. I asked her who wrote it and what did she think that it meant. She didn't know, she said she was sorry messing up the poster but her friend told her she hated Justin Bieber because he was an idiot. She told me she didn't want to tell her friend to stop because she would think she was mean.
AHHHHHH! I didn't call the parents, I didn't do anything. I got upset I told my mom and one of my professors that I look up to and asked them for advice. They both told me to just avoid those situations, so monitor play dates more closely and censure who she hangs out with. This was great advice, but what about the times it happens even with the censuring and watching? I can't be there always. How can I teach her to be assertive and not have to explain other things or take away her child-like point of view?
I'm debating where the niceness line needs to be drawn, when is too much. Is it when you become affected negatively or when others take advantage of your niceness. Today I'm not writing about something learned but I guess I'm asking for advice.
When is nice, too nice? and when I define it, how do I teach this concept to my kids?
What do you guys think?