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Hi Rene:

So I need a little advice. Tonight my daughter’s volleyball team played their crosstown rivals. We lost and that was okay. But what really took me by surprised was they played really, really dirty. To make matters worse, a girl on the opposing team deliberately used malicious play against my daughter. Cara’s lucky she didn’t get hurt!

The back story is my daughter is now dating that girl’s ex-boyfriend. You see what’s happening here right? But what happened next really floored me.

After the game I witnessed her parents smiling as the kids spoke about how their daughter beat on mine!  

When I asked Cara what she wanted me to do about it, she told me nothing; she said she will not stoop to her level and that karma will take care of her. But do I sit idle and watch it happen again the next time we play them?  And while my daughter is rising above, I was saddened that this is what this girl’s parents are teaching her!

Advice please!

Stunned in Syracuse

Hi Stunned:

Thanks for writing in. You asked if you should sit by and watch it happen again? I think your question really is more about whether you should say something to the girl or her parents. So the answer is no; you should not say anything to the girl or her parents and yes you should sit by, with one caveat. Here’s what I would do.

*TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER: I would talk to your daughter and tell her what complete jerks that girl AND her parents are. Yeah I said it. The parents are losers for teaching their daughter that there is value in playing dirty. There is not.  I know we’d all like to think that being adults imbues us with common sense; sadly it does not. As for their daughter, though exhibiting jerk-esque behavior, she’s really is at a disadvantage given the behavior of those who are raising her. Instead of being angry with her, pity somehow feels more appropriate.

*DON’T TALK TO THE GIRL OR HER FAMILY: As hard as this is for us as parents to do, this will accomplish absolutely nothing. Why? Because you’ve already seen the type of people they are. They were proud when their kid was reveling with her teammates about playing dirty! Do you really think you have an ice cube’s chance in hell of making these people see the error of their ways? Not even a little bit. Talking to them will be a waste of your time and breath.

*YOUR DAUGHTER HAS IT RIGHT: And right now you should not only be patting her on the back but yourself too for raising such a prescient kid. Cara’s right, Karma will take care of this girl and her family. In fact, it already has. It’s taught Cara a lesson about life and people that will be with her forever. But she’s also learned one of my favorites; not everyone will like you. Let that be their problem. If this young woman wants to burn up precious time hating your daughter because she’s dating her ex (or for any other reason), so be it. Cara can’t change that, so why waste energy trying?

Next I would explain to Cara how REAL winners behave and it’s not the way that other girl did. See, having the most points (toys, cars, money, etc.) is not what makes you a winner; treating people well and being fair does. That’s hard to do but necessary, even more so when they don’t deserve it. This girl and her parents are poster children for that.

Remember, people do things to garner a reaction, be it positive or negative. The fact that Cara is ignoring her is killing this other young lady because it’s not the reaction she was hoping for. Ultimately she will tire of this (because she’s not being rewarded with attention) and stop.

The one caveat is that I would keep a really close eye on the court action when the two teams play again and if there’s any dirty play, I would mention it to the referee at that point, especially if there’s a chance your daughter could get hurt.

 Otherwise, mom, let it go; your daughter’s got this one.

 Good luck!

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