Thursday, November 3, 2011

Playground Politics

It must be human nature to want to create exclusive groups. Otherwise, why would playground politics start as early as Pre-K?

Recently, my daughter took advantage of the quiet of bedtime to share with me that a group of girls in her class wouldn’t let her be part of their “family” at recess. She wasn’t crying or too upset, but I could tell her feelings were hurt. Which, of course, broke my heart. “Elisa* is my special friend and she’s in Amanda’s family, but Amanda* won’t let me be part of their family. They said ‘Go away, Go away!’” she said.

I know they’re kids, just being kids. But I’m a mom, feeling like a momma bear! Without being there to witness, I can’t know if she did something to annoy or offend or otherwise attract this shunning. I can only tell her that we need to be nice, even when people are not nice to us. And to look for another child that might need a friend to play with.

A couple of days later, it was parent/teacher conference day, and the teachers assured us that our daughter gets along well with the other children, and makes friends easily in the various groups she’s stationed with.

I guess the earlier kids are exposed to social dynamics, the earlier they learn to deal with them. What advice have you given your child in similar situations?

 * Names were changed to protect the sweet little children that left my baby out of their game.

Amy McCall is a Marketing Manager for Texas Health Resources and  Mom to one daughter who amazes her every day.

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