Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mean Girls

Jesus, it starts already.

Your kid has barely broken in her first pair of kindergarten sneakers and already you're having to coach her about healthy friendships, respect, and the meaning of the word bully. Even if you don't exactly use the word bully.

When it comes to girls, bullies aren't just bullies. They're friends too.

In the case of my kindergartener, the bully is the best friend. She's the best friend who lavishes cheap dolls on my daughter, all wrapped up in holiday leftovers, then professes "i'm not your friend" the same afternoon. She's the one who my daughter loves to bring gifts for too -- and to let her borrow her things. The last time my kid borrowed that kid a pair of boots (why the hell they were in her backpack, i don't know...) it took four days of begging for my daughter to get them back. And when we did get them back they stunk like sockless feet and jumping in puddles.

This is a lot to take, this lesson about respect. It's tough to convince a child that the way someone treats your things is often the way they regard you too. Especially when your voice has that unconvincing twinge to it while you're giving out the lesson -- since you're the one who's allowed your ex to mangle your car on more than one occasion.

What i'm saying is, there's a lot of 'do as i say, not as i do' around here. And it enrages me to see my daughter allowing what i've allowed, on some smaller scale.

So maybe this is how the world really works -- you are expected to teach your children the lessons you didn't learn so well the first time. (Or even the second or fifth.) Believe me, i'm trying to make this one heard.

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