Monday, February 27, 2006

Let the cattiness begin!

Today I had my first pangs of childhood let down, but from the parent perspective. Gemma had said to me that she wanted a certain girl in her class to come over and play. I ran into the girl's mother and asked if Gemma's classmate could come over and play. The little girl was standing by her mother and said she didn't want to play with Gemma, she wanted to play with another girl in her class. Her mother agreed that this little girl could not play with Gemma because she was too nervous and she just feels comfortable with her other friend. The mother then said she would try and talk her into it and said she would let me know. Of course knew the mother was just saying this, but it was a disappointment to Gemma. I even think that it was a bigger disappointment to me!

I had been holding my breath for the girl cattiness to start, but this early? When I walked into Gemma's classroom and her teacher said that the kids making playdates with each other have become problematic in the classroom. One child will invite another over and not include the third, then comes the shoving. Can you believe this with 4 and 5 year olds?

I remember in grade school how scared I was to go to school each day for fear my peer group would choose me to be the person they were mad at for that particular day. I hated it and I swear my stomach just ached the entire time I was in grade school, actually make that junior high and high school too!

Even as an adult I also feel the hurt feeling when I am not included in activities. Do girls ever grow out of it even when we are grown women? I would sure love to hear your comments on this one, especially from other mothers who have gone through this with a daughter already.


Sarah said...

I totally saw it already! When Hannah started preschool, there was a big clique of girls that she eventually became friends with but it was tough for the first few weeks.

However, they do eventually learn to play with lots of kids as they get older!

Phoenista said...

Poor Gemma! Of course I have no advice for you - I never learned how to play nice with the other girls.

I hope it all works out okay. It's really hard on kids to learn about interpersonal relationships I think.

Kelly S said...

Wow, this is worthy of a whole blog entry. First of all, I am surprised that this starting so early. Gemma is such a sweetheart--I feel bad for her. For me personally, my husband has kidded me for not ever saying "no" to a social invitation and that is because I like to be social and be involved. However, as someone who likes smaller groups of people because I like to converse in a smaller group, I understand that you can't invite everyone to everything. It's a practical matter. I also don't believe in getting possessive about friends. I think everyone has an unlimited amount of friendship to give so if someone is good friends with another person, doesn't mean they can't be good friends with me. I like variety over cliques any day.

Maura said...

Hi Kim,
I have not experienced this yet and when I do, I think my heart will be more broken than my childrens. I'd love to know how you handle it so that I can know what to do when the time comes.

Elaine Grote said...

Hi Kim. I personally have experienced some caddiness out here. I thought it ended in highschool myself-but it hasn't! Thankfully I have my knitting group that is pretty cool! Thank you for that... miss you. Elaine

Anonymous said...

As you know, I have raised 2 daughters and when disappointments happened, I tried not to show my disappointment because life does have MANY disappointments and it is healthy to get used to them at a young age. Things do not always go the way you want them to. Children are so resilient and their disappointments are soon forgotten and then life gives them something new to experience. If we show too much hurt it lingers and becomes too negative. Just my 2 cents. I loved the movie too and would love to see the area in the pictures. You never know, I may come next year when I retire. Keep up the blogging - I love it. Jean

Tracy said...

Oh Kim- I know exactly how you feel. Its very sad how mean girls can be and it starts so young. I'm dealing with the same thing right now with Hunter and her"bestfriend"
that has turned into one mean girl! We always want the best for our kids and it hurts us so much when we see them hurt and upset by other kids. I hate to say this but it only gets worse. I'm not looking forward to jr. high next year.

Maura said...

Hi Kim,
(It's me again.)
I really like the advice Jean shared. I'll have to remember that.
I also like what Kelly S. said. I'll have to pass that on to my children as well.
Hopefully Gemma has forgotten about this incident. It's so sad to think that she had her feelings hurt.
I'm am such a softy. How am I going to handle t when my childrens feeling get hurt. Maybe I should start a proactive therapy now.

Jill said...

Oh Kim I am feeling your pain. Yes, it does start this early. That happened to Peyton in preschool. It has happened to Landon this year too but he was the mean kid. And on a daily basis Peyton (1st grader) has a new best friend or some one who has been mean to her. Sadly, it is just the beginning. All you can do is teach her about feelings and not doing it to others.

Heather said...

My daughter is 14 and in high school. I'm surprised, but she says things aren't as "clique-y" as they were in middle school. There were so many times she would come home in tears over the cattiness of some of the girls. It would amaze me how they would fight one day and be best friends again the next. Boys are SO much easier when it comes to friends. They solve things much less emotionally.

Sadly, I don't think it gets better as we women get older.

PJS said...

UGH, this post just brought back so many dreadful junior high and high school memories. Children are beastly (except Gemma, of course).

Anonymous said...

It is happening in Jelina's class. So far, Jelina has been the girl that the other girls "fight" over. They want her and her only to sit next to them, play with them at reccess, etc. etc. I just explain to Jelina everytime I hear of such an incident that she can be friends with more than one person and they can all play and be friends together. I tell her how to say that to the other girls as well. And I explain how it makes others feels when they are not included. It is working because the teacher said Jelina always the other girls, "We can all play and be friends." and little by little more and more of them are playing together at recess.

This is just part of social life and that is why the shift is starting now. Around this age, some earlier, some a little later, children begin to break out of "parallel play" and begin more social interactions. Girls, perhaps, more than boys because the social part of their brain is developing at a faster rate than boys.

As far as Gemma is concerned, I would just talk to her. Ask her how she feels about it and depending on what she says, maybe just explain to her that it isn't personal, tell her maybe she can make friends with someone else for now, etc. etc.

And I don't girls and women as a whole ever grow out of that. I, myself felt excluded at times in the MOMS Club, even. It is just part of life and that is fine. If we teach our girls enough intrinsic self-worth, these moments will be no big deal.

- Nina

VeryApeAZ said...

Wish I could say something cool that would solve the problem. Unfortunately, there's nothing to say. :-( She could always play with the boys. We're less exclusive. =-)

Nancy L. Davis, Sadie's Mom said...

Kim, Threesomes just don't work (from my experience)--in preschool or in adulthood! Someone is always "out"--interesting dynamics. Children are so honest, which sometimes brings sadness and doses of reality we just aren't ready for.

Sadie said to add that she doesn't know what she would do without you--and your family.

Kirley said...

It never ends !! I to often feel left out. I used to think it was just me, I think it is sad that most women feel insecure and find it hard to approach new friends.
I agree with our buddy Nina. Empower our girls to love themselves. Amy Kirley