It’s hard to watch your child struggle – especially during those school years when everything from homework to bullies can lead to all sorts of anxieties. So, Tori Spelling is celebrating the big victories.
On Thursday, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star, 49, shared a photo of her 14-year-old daughter Stella, who graduated middle school despite facing some uphill battles. Spelling wrote a touching caption to accompany the picture of Stella in her graduation gown, saying she fought against adversity to prove naysayers wrong.
“Stella McDermott GRADUATES !!” Spelling’s post began. “My girl graduated from middle school today. Bittersweet. So proud of how hard she fought to graduate amongst bullying, COVID, adversity, migraines, severe anxiety, and sadly teachers and counselors who didn’t believe she could do it all in time to graduate… she proved them all wrong! ”
Spelling went on to say that she still sees Stella as her “tiny little buggy running around,” but that she’s “beyond proud” of the young woman she becomes.
“You have such drive and such a kind spirit! You can do absolutely anything you want to do! ” Spelling concluded. “Love you @ stella_mcdermott08 with all my heart and soul bff. # donnamartingraduates # likemotherlikedaughter. ”
Spelling also shared a slideshow of photos of Stella on her 14th birthday on June 9, calling her “a Jill of all trades” and “the most creative human I know.”
“Biggest heart. Instinctual caretaker. Best sister. Best friend. Animal lover extraordinaire, ”Spelling wrote of her first-born daughter with husband Dean McDermott. “You exemplify courage, believer of pushing forward and overcoming obstacles, and having such a positive attitude thru every situation. Your makeup, baking, crocheting, and crafting skills impress me to no end !! I love you so much and my heart beams with proudness every day. #tlcforever #proudmom # buggy🐞. ”
Last year, Spelling admitted it was heartbreaking to see Stella’s “fire dimmed” because of bullying. In a post about a modeling gig with kid cosmetics brand Petite ‘n Pretty, Spelling opened up about Stella’s experience with bullies starting in the fifth grade. Not only was she put down by other children, particularly a young boy, but Spelling said Stella faced criticism from her own principal – who eventually asked the family to leave the school in Encino, California, for missing too many days.
“With Stella’s bullying came health issues,” Spelling wrote. “She developed headaches, stomachaches, panic attacks, & her asthma increased. Emotions can be pretty powerful & manifest into physical ailments. She missed a lot of school due to this. But, what did remain was her drive & passion for baking, cooking, & crafting. She wants to open her own bakery one day. Stella had lemonade stands & slime biz since she was 8 to save $ for this. She got her dream of being on @gordongram Master Chef. ”
“That’s the lesson we should be teaching !,” Spelling continued, “To encourage our kids to find their individual passions & thrive!”
Spelling and McDermott, who are reportedly separated, have five children together: Stella, Liam, 15, Hattie, 10, Finn, 9, and Beau, 5.
Spelling said her son Liam is also bullied, and admitted she “was hesitant to post this bc as celebs we are sometimes judged for having problems others have.”
But as parents know, bullying runs rampant in schools and beyond. Adults can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy, StopBullying.gov insists.
The middle school years are tough, and the past few years have been even tougher for teens. Good for Stella, who found a way to keep going – and succeeded – despite adversity.