I came to this mompiphany the other night when my youngest daughter, Mckinley, was crying hysterically because Marlee wasn’t being nice to her. In the past I have fed into Mckinley’s hysteria, offering her a discreet handful of swedish fish and demanding that Marlee start being nicer to her. This would inevitably soothe Mckinley’s feelings temporarily. I have heard that being a middle child can be tough so I admit that I sometimes overcompensate with her with the hope that when she’s older, she chooses to work as a pediatrician rather than working the pole.
I realize now that feeding into Mckinley’s issues is never going to fix the situation because, truthfully, Marlee is mean to Mckinley because Mckinley is annoying. Like Beezus to Ramona annoying, little sister bugging you annoying. So the other night I had a tough love intervention with Mckinley. I told her that Marlee is not nice to her because she (Mckinley) can be annoying at times. I ticked off all of the “little sister annoying things” that Mckinley does. I explained to her that I am also a little sister (to Auntie Tamra) so I am an expert on the subject of annoying an older sister.
The truth is that if people find you annoying they won’t like you and won’t want to play with you. I have told my kids that they should not waste time trying to be friends with kids who don’t want to be their friend. Conversely, if my kids annoy their friends it won’t take long for my kids to lose those friendships. I have been on both sides of this troublesome coin (although in my day we called it being obnoxious). And thanks to Facebook, I have been able to make amends with most of the people I “annoyed” in high school. (If I missed you, I’m sorry! Really, I am.)
I think that having to deal with people who like you and people who don’t can be a truly valuable experience. Not everyone is going to like you, especially when you are annoying, and that is just how it is.