the bigger person



We’ve had a lot of conversations lately about friendships.  A little girl drama already in second grade, why does it have to start so soon?  We talked about how sometimes she just has to be the bigger person and avoid the drama.  How she doesn’t need to pout, she doesn’t need to get mad, she doesn’t need to get jealous.   She just needs to treat her friends how she would want to be treated, and sometimes that means doing something she might not really want to do, but it’s choosing to be the bigger person.  And sometimes that’s all really hard.  A few days after that particular convo she came home from school and said, “Mom, I was the bigger person today.  ____ wanted to sit by ____ and was upset about it because I was sitting next to her so I said that it was okay, she could sit by her and I can sit by her tomorrow.”  Wow.  Something I said actually stuck.

Sometimes I have a hard time teaching her about how to deal with relationships because I feel like I’m still learning myself.  Sometimes I have a hard time being the bigger person and avoiding the drama.  Heck, sometimes I feel like I cause the drama.  I pout, I get mad, I get jealous.  I feel like there are instances in the past year or so where I haven’t been a very good friend and I’ve done things I regret.  But I’ve also had a few chances the past month to be the bigger person and to practice what I preached to my daughter.  Dang it.  It’s hard.  But if my second grader can try to do it, so can I.

And so it goes.  I’m *trying* to teach her.  What she doesn’t know is that I’m probably learning more than she is.

georgia - love this. it is so hard. i feel like most my life, i did not struggle with jealousy to the level that most women {or girls} tend to. but i am not immune to it, and there have been pockets of my life where it got the best of me. but i did make a decision one day. it’s like i woke up and thought, “wow, jealousy is the biggest waste of time, and i just don’t want to be that person anymore.” so i stopped. that’s not to say i never struggle with it at all. sometimes it like to rear its ugly head. but on the whole, i decided it would not longer control me. it’s difficult to adopt that intentional philosophy when others around you won’t. the less jealous you are, the more jealous they will be, because not only are they jealous with their original stuff, but now they are jealous that things don’t bother you enough to make you jealous and that irks them. so i find in in many women circles, your trying to be the better person only fuels the people taking the low road. i have some girlfriends that i cherish more than anything, because they don’t have a jealous bone in their bodies. and if they ever do get jealous, they do a great job of pushing it down and letting grace and love and beauty take its place. i treasure them because of that, because, unfortunately in many women circles, this just is not practiced. i’m also not a fan of drama, and they are drama-free friends, too. i think it’s so important to be around friends like that as much as possible, because iron sharpens iron, and they are the ones that help me not be that way, as i hope i am to them. there comes a time where you have to walk away from the drama circles and jealousy pockets of people, because they will do what they want no matter what, and will only bring you down or bring you in. oh, goodness, i rambled! but i wanted to say that you said so much in so few words. and i’m so glad you are raising your daughter up in the right way. we don’t lead by perfection. we lead by example. and you are setting it. and on top of it, teaching it with words. our teaching others hold us accountable to “practice what we preach”. so if you are teaching it to her, you are likely on the right path, especially because your heart is willing and desires to be a “better person” person. and besides that, i can’t imagine a malicious or jealous bone in your body. you are just about one of the most gracious people i’ve ever met. we all struggle. it’s part of life. it’s what you do with it that counts {which is why i love michelle’s comment}. i think you’re golden!!

Laura - YES! I couldn’t agree more. My son {yes boys have drama too} has been acting out and greatly struggling in the process of making friends and keeping them happy! I’m trying to teach him about friendship and feelings and…but I feel so silly telling him about stuff that I’m not sure I’ve even learned.

Love hearing about the success your daughter had, learning from you. Awesome. :)

susan - parenting is hard. you’re doing a good job. and gosh I love what Michelle wrote – so true and so encouraging!

tracey - Yep. Having these convos all the time these days. It’s good to help her identify how she feels. We talk about jealous all of the time and recognizing it in ourselves and others. Hard to be the bigger person when you might feel like the smaller one. Takes a lot of bravery to choose the bigger route. So glad she has you. :)

Heather - Oh those moments where they get what we are trying to teach them are so powerful! You must have been so proud of her.

We are all such works in progress, aren’t we? I love that your heart desires to change and learn an grow. And I think it speaks volumes to our children as they watch us grow. Hugs friend!

michelle - Stacey, I’m going to share my big thing I’ve learned today. That’s life. I keep studying these amazing people in the bible: Abraham, Jacob, Peter, etc and you know what all of them have in common? They do these incredibly awesome things for God and two seconds later they totally screw up. And then they manage to get back on the right path and be amazing again. I think that’s our humanity showing through. We want to do right and sometimes we nail it. Sometimes we don’t. We just have to get back up and try again. I love that she was able to share how she found success in a difficult situation. That’s beautiful and encouraging to me… as I, like you, continue to struggle to get it right. :)

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