Tuesday, November 3, 2015
(Pre)Mean Girls: Cliques in Pre-K
The cutest thing I've ever seen...well, one of the cutest things, anyway... is the social extravaganza when I drop my daughter off at preschool. All the little girls run up and give big hugs to the latest student arriving...some of them, anyway.
How would you like to be the girl that is greeted by four or five others with arms opened wide and hearing your name squealed by tiny voices all around?
And how would you like to be the little girl, standing beside her daddy who nobody even gave a second glance to?
This is the seed of drama being planted by preschoolers, before the mean-girl scenarios truly bloom.
And my daughter is in the middle of it.
I didn't notice it really, until today. I mean they have been in school for two months now...and this has been the common greeting method, for SOME of the girls in the over-abundant, girl-dominating class. Maybe it's obvious to me now because I am dealing with middle school drama with my oldest, or maybe it's because I am constantly feeling torn between being an extrovert and chatting away, and reverting to my introvert tendencies to be an "observer".
Regardless, today it struck me as almost disturbing. My little girl was part of the "haves", and the others were the "have nots". Haves being those who "have" the "in" with the girls in the class, and those who "have not" so impressed themselves as acceptable friends.
Hate to be a gossip, but I even saw one girl go up to a "have not" and declare she could not play with them...RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CHILD'S MOM. UGH.
So, I summoned my daughter over as we waited for her teacher to arrive, and whispered, "You should greet all the girls in your class. Be kind to everyone."
And when I pointed to one who missed the welcoming party, my little girl suddenly became shy and whiney and then ran up to the "haves".
All I can do is keep reminding her. Keep telling her that kindness is one of the most important things. And explain exactly what kindness is...and that it isn't on special reserve for certain people.
Cliques start early don't they? They are part of human nature, I suppose. But that's no excuse for ignoring the chances to cross those invisible lines. And like I wrote about adult cliques in a post geared toward adulthood it still remains true:
"Even if it’s unintentional, even if it’s “normal”, clique-ing is an inevitable force to be reckoned with…or to stand against and try and strengthen your heart for the blast."
Gotta start early in making those hearts good and strong.