Friday, April 27, 2012

Mean Girls

Mean girls are one my least favorite parts of my job.  They are also one of the groups that I find myself having the least amount of patience with.  I am working on that and luckily it is not too bad in the high school, but it still something that I really have to remind myself to be the grown up about. 

Mean girls are the reason why I seem to gravitate  to the males of our species.  Men, if they don't like you, you know it. Women on the other hand, smile to your face and the most horrendous things can spew from their mouths as you are walking away.  The two groups I have observed MGs target are either those deemed not worthy of the presence of MGs or those they feel threatened by because they cannot control or manipulate them.

I am used to dealing with them on the high school level.  D is our oldest girl, if you can even use the word "old" in any context with kindergartners, and the MGs have already reared their ugly head.

My FF was subbing at the Lower Campus earlier this year.  He came home and told me D was definitely her momma's daughter.  My first thought was, "Oh, Lord, what did she say?"  But, it was actually what he saw at lunch.  D, everyday without fail, happily eats lunch with a table full of boys.  He was smiling and amazed because he saw me in that.  I was not smiling and shook my head because I knew what that meant - the MGs have made her find a way to survive without them - IN KINDERGARTEN!

Earlier in the year, she got into the car, almost distraught, over the Barbie center.  I resisted from rolling my eyes and I heard her out.  Turns out, there was a Barbie that a MG had deemed was only hers and some kindergarten style threats (a la ~ I won't be your friend and neither will my friends) were made regarding anyone else playing with said Barbie. D got done her work, played in the Barbie center and had the nerve to play with the coveted Barbie. MG told her to leave it alone due to her claim on it, D reminded her she wasn't done with her work and couldn't play with it anyway.  MG made the friendship threat and D told her she probably wasn't a very good friend anyway.  And there it began, the gauntlet was thrown down.

So far we have attended a few MG birthday parties and D is always amazed at how nice they are to her while she's there.  Usually when we leave I check to see if there are any knives stuck where they should not be as we are walking away.  I have also observed where the behavior is learned and it makes my heart heavy.  At one party I was almost treated as the "help" because I am teacher at the school they pay so much to send their kids to.  All I can do is smile, say thank you for their hospitality and say a prayer.

The inspiration for this post was conferences last night.  I don't usually get to go to our kids' conferences, because I have my own conferences to be the teacher at.  Sometimes it is a good thing, but sometimes you miss out on the proud momma moments.  J shared one of those last night.  And it was about the MGs.  Her teacher complimented her on how well she handles situations with the MGs, she doesn't get sucked into it and she is confident enough to stand up to them when they are wrong.  That made my day.
My goal has been to raise kind, compassionate and CONFIDENT kids.  Our society, especially with girls, does not always make that easy.  I prayerful that I can continue to help my kids on this path as they are starting out in life so that they look at the world and wonder how they can make it better, as opposed to what the world can do for them, today.

So, day #2 of my 30 Posts in 30 Days is completed without much extra effort.  28 more to go!  Happy Friday, everyone.  Hug your kids, kiss your FFs and remind your kids to be true to themselves.
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