There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.-Christopher Morley
The Girls Are Back At It
Posted February 19, 2011
A year ago, the Sweet Sweetheart and her classmates had some conflicts with the two of the girls in her class I referred to as the Second Grade Supremes. Well, in the past few weeks the girls are back at it.
To a great extent, I really do have to laugh at the pettiness of it all. This one said that the other one said mean things about someone else. And someone else said mean things about the other one, who in turn said mean things about the first one. Still with me? Good, because I think I lost track...
From my point of view, they all need to drink hot cocoa, have a cookie, listen to a nice princess story, and take a long nap. That would solve more than 90% of their problems, but of course just suggesting it to such "mature" young ladies would be taken a grave insult and the Sweet Sweetheart would give me a sharp look and explain to me that they've all outgrown stuff like that a long, long time ago... Like at least two years ago.
But for third-graders, such claims of what was said by their friends behind their backs can be very troublesome. There are social pressures and claims that not only what was said was mean, but the girls themselves are mean.
The result is that the Sweet Sweetheart and some of her classmates have been coming home from school quite distraught for the past few weeks.
The Girls Battle for Supremacy
As I said about a year ago, as much as my wife and I want to protect our children from any trouble, dealing with mean-spirited individuals is a crucial skill for being successful in life, and our kids need to master that skill. It's a coping mechanism that everyone needs to develop on their own. We can listen to them, give tips, share our experience, and comfort our children but, in the end, they need to figure out what works best for themselves.
However, to complicate matters, some of the mothers have contributed to the problem by either giving their daughters instructions to retaliate against other girls, or they've personally been involved in telling each other and the school's administration that some of the girls in the class are mean. Of course, they are exactly correct about that, but in reality the mean ones, not coincidentally, are typically their own daughters rather than the ones they accuse. By calling other girls mean, they try to preemptively manipulate the administration's opinion of who's guilty. It's truly a case of 'like mother, like daughter,' and so easy to see from where the mean little girls got it.
Anyway, putting the mother-daughter drama aside, as usual Beautiful Eema and I are very reluctantly involved in the thick of things. So off we went for a meeting with the teachers and administration of her school. It's not often that a father joins such a meeting, but since the kids were in pre-K, I've been involved as much as possible in their education. It's one of the advantages of owning our business. I can make my own schedule and set my own priorities to a great extent. I can't say for sure, but it does seem that when a father shows up, there's a perception of extra importance to the matters discussed. And it seems that the child feels represented and maybe even protected a little more. Or so I hope, anyway.
The school's administration and teachers were excellent, and the meeting went very well. But there's another aspect. The Sweet Sweetheart attends a fairly small private school with only one class per grade, and that class only consists of seven girls and thirteen boys in total.
In a larger school, we would advise her to try to find another social circle of nicer girls, but in a tiny class like hers, there's nowhere else to turn. That, of course, increases our never-ending school dilemma for next year: Keep her and the Good Boy in their current school, or make a move to a larger school. There are no great local options either way, nor are there terrible options either, but the school uncertainty continues for the fifth straight year and it's becoming tiresome.
Well, what would life be without a little excitement or a reason to stay awake at night? I don't know what we'd do if everything suddenly all fell into place... I'm sure we'd be soooo bored!
About Double Triangle
Double Triangle is my personal blog and is mostly about family life in the Los Angeles area. It also serves to record some of my thoughts in a format that can be easily accessed by my family and friends, as well as by anyone else who cares to read it.
I tend to post new material at no set intervals. So to keep updated, either visit this page or subscribe to the handy dandy RSS Feed.