It’s crazy to me that I even have anything to say on this, but here I sit after yet another day of picking up my daughter at school only to listen to her run through the daily drama that took place in her class.
First of all I would like to note that this did not happen when my son was in grade two… just saying… pretty sure it's a girl thing. Second the poor teacher! How does she deal with this kind of ridiculous drama day after day, year after year?
When it first started happening way back in September I remember going to my daughter’s teacher as asking her what in the world was going on. She seemed completely unphased and proceeded to tell me in her 17 years of teaching that grade two is always filled with this kind of friendship drama. I wasn’t sure if that was comforting or not! I guess we will find out if I end up writing a Grade Three Drama blog post next year :P.
Through out the year the drama seemed to have its ups and downs in intensity and I recently found myself falsely believing that things had finally settled down. Oh, but that was not at all the case!
It goes something like this. “So and so doesn't want to sit by me now, and then she said what’s her name is now her best friend”; or “I don’t like such and such, she’s mean”; followed then by “Momma, can such and such and I have a play date?” Honestly, it’s nearly impossible to keep it all straight!
I’ve tried to think back to when I was that age because I was sure we never engaged in such drama… we were unconditional friends from the start… right? After chatting with some of my long time friends I came to the sad recollection that we in fact engaged in very much the same ridiculous behaviors.
Why are little girls so mean to each other? My daughter will come home crying about the betrayal she has experienced at the hands of her ‘BFF’, and I’m sure she has been the cause of some tears as well. It’s so hard to see your child hurting and I have encouraged her to not take it too seriously, that they will be playing again before she knows it, but we all know that’s easier said than done.
And if you watch them play it can be quite the exercise in psychological warfare. I don’t think, for the most part, they do it to intentionally hurt each other. I think what tends to happen is that everyone starts out all lovely and generous and then as the play goes on they slip into their self-centered focus (which is completely normal at this age) and that is where we start to run into trouble. Someone’s feelings inevitably get hurt, then the back and forth starts, and before you know it you are mean and we aren’t friends anymore!
As girls we innately feel things more, especially when we are talking about interpersonal relationships. We want those close intimate relationships with our friends and of course that leaves us vulnerable to hurt when we don’t agree. Boys on the other hand will literally hang out with anyone. It’s hilarious! My son can make friends literally anywhere; in the line up at the grocery store my son sees a boy with his mom behind us (younger, older… it really doesn’t matter) . He says something like, “Hi, do you like Pokemon?” and bang that’s it they’re friends! I will later ask him about one of these new friends when we are leaving a park or event and it never fails he has no clue what the kids name is, but they both like Minecraft and that’s all that mattered.
I’m just fascinated by these differences and the fact that they truly seem to be innate (yes I’m sure you just heard my Psychology degree kick in to high gear…sorry).
Anyway, as the end of grade two is quickly coming upon us I have to say that as of right now I don’t see this drama ending anytime soon. Even today there was a ‘she’s so mean’ and ‘I want her to come over for a play date’ episode. But who knows what the summer will bring and perhaps grade three will be all love and peace. A mom can dream, can’t she? ;)