"I'm just a horrible kid!"
That's what Bean said to me after I picked her up at school one day last week.
When I heard her say this, my heart just sank.
Nobody ever wants to hear their own child say this about themselves.
To give some background on why this was uttered, when I picked her up from school that day, she was sitting at the head table with a teacher. Sitting there instead of being allowed to run around and do your own thing is never a good sign so I already knew something was up.
The teacher informed me that Bean had been in a slapping match with a little boy. One of those kind of things were they were each hitting the other's hands in the way only little kids or girlie girls can do. Something akin to otter high fives.
These two were separated but then later on, Bean got in trouble again for getting upset with the same little boy and picking up a wooden block and throwing it at him.
I have no idea where she gets this temper from.
But really, that's just not like Bean. She doesn't normally get that frustrated with other kids. But this was the second incident (slapping a cousin being the first) and I just had no idea where it was coming from.
When we got in the car, I stood next to her while she was getting in her seat and I asked her why she had acted that way to the little boy.
"I guess I'm just a horrible kid!"
That was her answer to me. My husband and I are no saints or perfect parents. We do let curse words slip and we have been known to raise our voices at each other in front of Bean. But neither one of us has ever put her down. We would never call her horrible so this response floored me. I asked her why she said that about herself or where she heard that.
She never could tell me where she heard it but she must have picked it up someplace. But that really doesn't matter, I guess. What mattered most was that this was how she was feeling about herself that day. And that's not how I ever want her to see herself.
I know we all get down on ourselves and we all have bad days. Understandable. But she's 5. She shouldn't ever feel that way about herself at this age.
I talked to her about what had happened that day, about what she could have done differently and how to help herself when people are getting to her. Then I explained to her that I didn't like hearing her talk about herself that way. I said that Mommy and Daddy never once thought she was a horrible kid so she wasn't allowed to think that about herself either.
She got a lot of cuddle time that evening and I think it helped her. I know I enjoyed it!
Now hopefully the next time someone "crowds up her space" she will have more choices on how to handle the situation than to throw a block.