Girls seem to hit this wall at around 7/8 years old where they just become hormonal with each other. Each relationship is so complex and they remember every single slight and every single mean comment ever said. I can actually remember mean comments from other girls from 28 years ago…I am not sure if this is normal but my daughter seems to be just like me.
Every day is a complex dance of the girls’ feelings and power struggles, with one girl always getting left out and another being a bully. Tears are shed in a flurry of hateful words, it is all just so dramatic. In June, my daughter told me about this one girl who was always left out at school. Talking with my daughter, I tried to get her to empathize with this girl and bring her into the circle. My daughter, sweetheart that she is, really wanted to include her, but felt so much pressure from the other girls to conform. I am trying to teach her to stick up for her friends and be autonomous but it is so hard at that age. She told me that if she played with this girl or included her, she would be left out as well. I can remember feeling like this, so I worked with her to strategize how to include this girl without incurring the wrath of the others. I think my daughter learned a lot during this period and I hope I am teaching her to be a good friend.
Boys on the other hand, just aren’t that complicated. I witnessed this conversation at my son’s birthday party. One of his closest friend said about another boy at the party – “He cries all the time. He is a baby and I don’t like him.” My son looked at him and said, “He’s my friend.” The other boy said, “OK.” And off they went to play together. Why can’t girls be this easy? Oh and by the way, I have never been prouder of my son. 🙂