As the mom of 2 girls, our house can sometimes be DRAMA-central!! I'm trying to nip it all in the bud now though. I'm attempting to teach them some of the lessons that it's taken me my whole life to learn. I'd love to save them some of the pain, tears & heartache that middle and high school can bring. As adults, we look back at it and realize none of it was that big of a deal...we survived with little or no scars. But now that I'm reliving it through my kids, I'm remembering that at times it really HURT and that often my self-confidence was barely topping my ankles.
I hope and pray that I'm raising my girls to be proud of themselves and know that they are smart and beautiful...and it doesn't matter what any of these people think about them, as long as it isn't true. If there is any merit to what someone thinks about you and it's negative, do something about it. If you're not proud of something you've done, learn from it, apologize if necessary....and move on.
I am confident in knowing that I've taught my kids to say sorry when they mess up. They also know that when you say "I'm sorry", it means that I'm going to do my best to not make the same mistake again. That being said, they aren't always the most forgiving either. They are quick to forgive the first time...but they've learned from certain people in their lives that "fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me" really is a true measure of character, trust & forgiveness. I've always considered myself too forgiving, to the point of often being a doormat. I can credit my kids for opening my eyes and helping me become the strong person that I am now...and hopefully setting the example they need me to be.
As a child and a young adult, I was always compassionate to other people's problems. I wanted to be a GREAT friend to EVERYONE. I wanted everyone to like me and to be everyone's shoulder to cry on...and to save everyone that needed saving. Then I learned the lesson of you can't help someone who won't help themselves. My life was always filled with drama. When I was married, I often thought if someone would just stick up for me; he'd open his eyes and make the changes that I needed him to...and then we'd have had our happily every after. Looking back now, he was never going to be the man I needed him to be. But after my divorce, I felt compelled to try to save everyone I could...stick up for who I felt was the wronged party. My heart was so big, that it went out to anyone that was in a similar situation to what I had just gotten out of. I'd lose sleep worrying about friends. I'd be short tempered with my own kids, because I was stressed out about what was going on with someone else. Because I'm an honest person, I assumed everyone else was always telling me the truth too.
Now, I've learned that there are always 3 sides to every story. Your's, their's and the truth. It took me a long time to realize that the only person I can control is myself. I have enough drama and BS in my life that I have no control over, why should I invite more into my life? I've learned that lots of people thrive on drama and constant turmoil. I can't live like that!! I've had to learn to walk away from friendships, no matter how much I love the people involved. I now surround myself with people that bring out the best in me, build me up, that share the same parenting philosophies, that have the same non-drama policies, that make me laugh so hard I cry...I hope that in doing this, I've shown my kids that it really is important to mind your own business and stay out of others. Change begins with you. If you're not willing to make changes in your life, it will always be the same.
I feel like I've done a pretty good job teaching my girls about the golden rule, at least with people other than each other. They both still have a little bit of a hard time with not actually treating people the way they treat you...if it's not the way you want to be treated. But we're making progress. I've made a conscious effort to choose friends that bring something to the table. Friendship is a two-way street and I make sure I'm looking both ways. My girls are turning out to be the same way. If someone continuously treats them wrong, they quit reaching out to that person. Unfortunately, with them being young and all of their friends and schoolmates are all still learning this lesson, I fear that they'll end up alienating themselves and not having many friends...but in the end they will have built stronger friendships with the friends they do have and they'll be stronger and happier for it too.
Something else I'm working hard to teach them is keeping their business to themselves. If you don't want people talking about you and your personal life...don't broadcast it!! Don't post it on Facebook, don't tell your friends about it unless you're prepared for them to tell someone else who will then turn and tell someone else too. Just because someone is your best friend and they SWEAR they won't tell anyone your secrets, doesn't mean they won't accidentally spill the beans. It's human nature to be nosy and to gossip...without even realizing it. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I was totally guilty of this too. Don't tell me a juicy secret unless you're ok with me telling my best friends about it. I'm terrible at keeping secrets!! I'm much better than I used to be...but I still suck!!
So, my theory on raising NON-drama queens is to live by example. I avoid drama in my own life...and I talk to my kids about the drama that I've left behind and I try to guide them in making good choices when it comes to their friendships and how they deal with drama in their lives. So far the best advice I've given B, is to ignore it. Don't feed into the drama. If someone is talking about you and trying to bring you down, ignore it. As long as you're confident that you haven't done anything to deserve what they're saying, ignore it. Those that know you best, will know if it's true or not.