Is 2nd grade the new 4th for girls?

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You people working in schools know what I’m talking about. Recess drama and female friendships that flip-flop daily or by the hour! Girls who are drama queens and TELL their friends who they can and cannot play with. And, then there’s the girl who is always the victim; someone is ALWAYS being mean to her. Or, she NEVER gets to play! (poor me…) Girl drama is tough!

Is 2nd grade the new 4th grade?

It’s interesting that women night say 50 is the new 40. Time is moving backwards. But, in adulthood, it’s a positive idea embodying self-righteousness and true self-awareness. And with all the age-defying tricks, you can even make your self look younger while also feeling wiser!

For young girls, many are trying to grow up too fast. They want to be pre-teens when they are really still kids. We are seeing drama queens at a younger and younger age. It’s like it’s contagious. There’s always been the pecking order but now instead of 4th or 5th grade, it’s 2nd grade.

As a counselor, my “guidance” box is littered with notes about friendship problems each week. And, yes, all grades experience friendship issues at some point but the majority of friendship problems are 2nd grade girls. What some parents may label “bullying” is really more like power struggles, where both parties are at play. There are many power-hungry girls who want to be the boss yet lack the empathy and leadership skills is takes to navigate through making decisions. Are they all like this?

We want our girls to be confident decision-makers. But, most 2nd grade girls haven’t figured out how to act self-assured and assertive while also being kind, fair, and humble. We want our girls to play fair, take turns, share friends, make new friendships, and be happy…. yet so many are not at such a young age.

This is the part that I know I’m about to curse myself so I’m knocking on wood. Our time will come I’m sure…. In fact, we are almost guaranteed a nightmarish teenagehood because our 8-year-old is just so responsible, kind, and also confident now!  I work with countless girls her age, I know I do not have a drama queen. I know her friends find her nice. And I know this because I am fortunate enough to be right there hearing it and seeing for myself. Thank goodness she’s not one of the ‘ALWAYS’, poor-me, ‘I’m not your friend anymore’ girls!

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And, thank goodness she also has a couple of friends, not a ton, who are the same way. They still have a simple innocence, soft delivery, yet old-soul approach towards friendship. In fact, I noticed recently that her absolute best friend in the whole world wasn’t playing with her a recess. For almost 3 years now, they have played with each other (kid-you-not) every single day of recess. They were only in the same class together one of these 3 years but they always reunited on the playground.

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You could usually find Anna and Kate hand in hand on the playground. They greeted each other running with arms stretched out like in a movie. They hugged and played every single day until a couple of weeks ago. The streak has ended. Anna said nothing about it but I noticed, being that I walk past the playground upon entering and leaving my room at our school. When I noticed that they were playing in different areas and with different girls, I was very surprised. I worried there must be trouble in paradise. But, these are 2 girls that have never had a fight. In fact, I have never heard them even bicker or have a disagreement.

When I asked Anna about it, she just said plainly that she was playing with 3 other girls from her class. There was no reason. And when I asked Kate about it out of curiosity a week later when she was playing at our house, she also said plainly that they are playing with other people, and “that’s fine”. This is NOT the way things normally work. No jealousy? No hurt feelings? No tears, no blame, no ‘always’/ ‘never’ threats!? This is not how 2nd grade girls operate!

So, for now I consider myself very lucky. Their 4th grade year may be the one, the one I used to dread! But for now, I will take this mature, sweet, and simple approach towards friendship and life. I appreciate so much these kind girls who don’t want to stir the pot or cause trouble. I love girls who aren’t fueled by drama and they know they are enough; they aren’t always needing to be the center of attention. They don’t need to get caught up on every minor issue that life throws out or a mean girl chooses to test them with. Thank goodness for girls like Kate and Anna. They aren’t all drama queens.

XOXO

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Julia says:

    Very nice and helpful post, Sarah. My daughter is about to be a second grader. I have noticed the drama among her friends, too. It’s the shows they watch and the apps they use.
    That push to adulthood is everywhere! Yesterday, I went to a middle school event for 7th graders. They were hosting the “Oscars” (our students care about reading) – a ton of work went into that event. The students dressed up as authors and characters and they had categories like “most courageous book character” and “best female hero” etc.
    I was very impressed until I noticed the book choice. “13 reasons why” for 12 year olds?! The “Selection” series – you need a boy to tell you are beautiful in order to feel you have a right to exist?
    I was about to shout, what about a good dose of the Handmaid’s Tale?!
    Seriously, those books were too advanced for both boys and girls. There was a lot of violence and topics, like rape, revenge, suicide, etc. that they don’t have the brain development for.

    I am worried about what goes on in schools and (at home) in our kids’ lives.

    Like

    1. I completely agree that social media is changing our children for the worst, and there need to be filters. Many parents aren’t monitoring what kids are viewing online. And, some topics need to wait including 13 Reasons!! That’s so not appropriate. ..and harmful. The drama can wait. Teaching our children be kind and socially appropriate should be a priority. The drama is too much, too early!

      Like

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