I picked up my daughter last week from school and she sighed, â€śI didnâ€™t have the best day.â€ť I asked her why and she said, â€śWell, this girl sent me a noteâ€¦â€ť
Before she could finish her sentence, I said, â€śOh God, no!â€ť
My daughter asked, â€śWhy did you say that mommy?â€ť
So I told her. â€śBecause I KNOW that nothing good comes out of girls sending notes to each other.â€ť
So I asked my daughter what this note said and she told me, to paraphrase, that a girl wrote to my daughter that sheâ€™s not her â€śBFFâ€ť anymore but will be if my daughter ditches two of her other friends. I just put my hands over my face and sighed, thinking, â€śAnd here it beginsâ€¦â€ť
I got everything out of my daughter, including other notes that went back and forth, with one girl writing to another that she was a bully and a cry baby. Another one said, â€śAre you going to be my best friend or not? Check the yes or no box.â€ť Of course, I have been through this whole note passing thing years ago when I was in grade four. But I never went to an all girls school, so I can only imagine how many notes go back and forth during my daughter’s classes (Sheâ€™s now in Grade Four. I think note passing starts around this age because they actually know how to write full sentences.)
I wanted to see this note my daughter received and I asked her to show it to me, but she told me she threw it into the recycling bin, which I thought was not only smart (who needs to hold onto a mean note?) but also very environmentally friendly of her.
I know. I know. Youâ€™re going to tell me to tell her to tell the teacher. Well, guess what? No matter how many times I tell her, when someone does something mean to her and to go straight to the teacher, there comes a point where your children just wonâ€™t do this. Because they are embarrassed and also donâ€™t want to be seen as tattle tales. I donâ€™t like it, but I get it.
Though these mean notes bothered me, my daughter wasnâ€™t innocent in this whole note passing thing. One of her friends wrote a not-so-nice note to another girl and put my daughterâ€™s name on it. For this, I yelled at her.
â€śDo not send mean notes, or any notes, to anyone in your class!â€ť
My daughter, practically in tears, cried, â€śBut I didnâ€™t do it! My friend just wrote my name on it.â€ť So I told her to tell her friend NEVER to put her name on any note. Ever. EVER. I explained that if her name is on a note, that note could be passed on to a parent or a teacher and then she will be blamed (Letâ€™s be honest. Most kids’ handwriting looks kind of the same.) I explained to her that nothing should EVER be put in writing and that if she has a problem with a girl in her class, than she should tell her to her face, or tell the teacher.
â€śOh,â€ť my daughter said. â€śBecause itâ€™s kind of like proof.â€ť
I was pretty impressed, I must say, that my daughter got my point. All this mommy needs is a call from the teacher or another mother saying my daughter is sending mean notes. In this day and age, I never put anything in writing, including e-mails or texts, or BBMs, that I wouldnâ€™t want the world to see. And kids these days have to learn that. They have to know that if they put something up on Facebook, or send out an e-mail, then itâ€™s there forever.
I was surprised when my bonus daughter, in grade five, told me she still gets means notes. The last one she got said, â€śI never want to see your face again.â€ť I asked her why she didnâ€™t show it to the teacher and she just shrugged.
So, what can we do? Ban paper? Ban pencils? All I know is that girls can be mean. And, for now, I just told my daughter, â€śNO MORE NOTES!â€ť