Do you remember that TV show, “My So Called Life”? I hardly remember any of the specific story lines but I do remember that I loved the show and I had to watch it. To this day when I see Claire Danes I always think of Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano. Weird, right?
Angela always had a lot of made up drama in her life. She was always sulking about something whether it be boy trouble or her classes or her parents. She just never seemed happy. This is the exact opposite attitude I have had all of my life so I am not sure what drew me into the show.
I am also not sure why I brought that up. But, I digress. Today I am going to talk about friendship and specifically making friends. I have said before that I really enjoying meeting new people and making new friends. I love learning the “story” of someone’s life and making connections with people through shared experiences. Friendship is something that I work at and doesn’t just happen on a whim. I foster friendships and I listen and take the time to get to know people.
I have a few really wonderful life-long friends, I have many acquaintances and people who are just coming into my life now, and I have a couple of former friends whom I shared commonality with at one time but for some reason that are no longer in my life.
I cannot ever remember having to deal with mean girls in my life. And if I did, I probably just wrote them off before I got to know them. Even as a kid I could not stand mean people and I just steered clear of the drama. I was too busy with sports and dance and socializing to have time for it.
So, it pains me to see that Megan, at age 3.5, is already having to deal with means girls in our neighborhood. So many times the “big girls” (5-8year olds) use Megan to play with until someone better comes along. They are nice to her only when it is convenient for them. It is pathetic to watch because Meg just wants to play and be friends with everyone. She still has an innocent spirit about her…one that I would like to keep intact at least until her 4th birthday.
I usually don’t say anything because I just don’t know what to say. I feel like it is the girls mother’s job to teach them about fostering friendship. I keep telling Megan “in order to have a friend you need to be a friend.” I just keep reiterating that she needs to be nice to everyone, no matter what.
Do other people spend time saying this to their own children? I know they do because there are also some very sweet, kind girls on our street and their moms are sweet and kind as well.
Today a girl came over played with her until another little one came over and then proceeded to say, “so and so is coming over to my house now. Megan can’t come.” I sort of lost it a bit. I told the girl that she was not being very nice to Megan and that was not a friendly thing to do. I also looked at a crying Megan and said, “so and so is not being a very good friend. Let her go home.”
Why do kids always gravitate to the mean ones?
It is going to be along summer. UUUUGGGGHHHH.
I can’t stand to see my girl cry. I just hate it. And I never thought it would start so early. I feel like crying myself. But I know this is just the beginning. I just wish my generation of parents could break the cycle of meanies. I wish we could band together and say, “no more.”
I can assure you that mean little girls will turn into mean big girls if we don’t teach them not to do it. Today’s playground bully can easily turn into tomorrow’s cyber bully if we are not careful. I have seen it in my classroom and I have dealt with both sides more times then I can even count.
I am not saying that I will not have to have my own very personal discussion with my daughter someday. She may one day need someone to tell her to be nice. I am not naive about that. But I know that I can be proactive in shaping her into the girl, young woman, and lady that I would like her to be. I want both of my kids to always have the golden rule in the back of their minds. I want them to think of a person’s feelings and how their own words can bring positivity or negativity to our playground, our school, our workplace, etc.
Today I took a stand for my daughter who was not able to stand up for herself. I will do it again and again and again. Whether you are a mother, a father, an aunt, grandparent or special friend. Be the voice for those who are too tender, too innocent to speak for themselves.
Will you join me in a peaceful pursuit of friendship for our kids?