ARE THERE MEAN GIRLS IN KINDERGARTEN?
"Nobody wants to be friends with me", cried my 5 year old. Now hold up, I know she's 5, and well, girls can be dramatic, and this isn't a scene out of Big Little Lies (although I could create one just for the sake of my love for the show), but it's not. There's been no attack on my child's body. No marks. Nothing of the sort. But one thing is for damn sure, any kind of bullying is not acceptable and nobody is going to bully a 5 year old, but if they do, my inner Renata character is coming out and not going to stay quiet.
Does this really happen? At this young of an age? Are we living in a world where our daughters are being taught to behave in such a way? The truth is I don't know the answer, but I do know how to support and love my child and teach her right from wrong. And perhaps that's the only thing I know regarding this situation.
It seems girl clicks aren't just in high school, they begin sometime in pre-school. Yep. Mind blowing. And these sort of innocent pre-adolescent games exist and therefore transition into a problematic cycle of school drama. And the "don't invite Kona Blue to the party, everybody but her", is just part of being a kindergartner. But, I'm not down with this behavior and I call bullshit.
I was bullied once in school. Nothing too dreadful that in cinema you'd close your eyes shut for, but enough to set a long lasting trigger in me that took years to let go of. Luckily, I escaped that minor baggage and went on to live a great life, but mind you, there still lives baggage. It doesn't disappear like ashes in the ocean.
I realize that having a daughter experience any type of mean girl behavior is never going to be fun, nor easy. But I understand it will happen. But man do I wish it didn't. I mean, mean girls are mean at 5? How do they even know what that means and where do they learn it?
Perhaps it's what they observe at home. Or at school. Or what they hear or see on television. Or perhaps it's just young children being young and not knowing any better. And perhaps we can't escape this in kindergarten, or 1st grade or freshman year. But considering the strain it put on my heart when my daughter cried several times this past month regarding girls being mean and exposing that "nobody wants to be my friend", this is what I learned.
I don't like it. Not one bit. And maybe I'm sensitive. And maybe this will blow over like the wind. Because kids grow out of stuff. And maybe I don't know how to exactly handle every given scenario that I'm handed as a mother because I'm human and I'm learning. But I do know what I feel in my gut. And my gut instinct tells me that I will not tolerate mean girls, nor will she. I will assess the situation, speak up and get information from the teacher and the other moms (which I did) and settle the matter (which we did). I will talk to my daughter in a calm (non-Renata way) and listen. And listen well. I will pay attention to her needs always, especially when she acts out. And I will offer knowledge and love and understanding. And I will set a good example by being my best mother self. And she will learn to stand up tall and defend herself with guts and glory. And she may feel defeated at times and sad and left out, but I will teach her the foundation for a life full of friends. And I will teach her to be kind, and caring and empathetic and forgiving. And I'll never stop showing her how wonderful she is and deserving of love and beautiful friendships. Because if she knows this, she lives this. And if she lives this, her life will be just that. Full of light and love and friends. And that's the only direction we will be stepping. And mean girls can remain a movie I never saw. And hopefully never will in real time.