Wednesday, October 3, 2012

the joys of 5th grade cliques.


This post is for my 10-year-old daughter, who has entered the strange and scary world of 5th grade cliques.  Add that to being a "new kid" in the first place, and my heart desperately goes out for her, while at the same time, I am confident she can come out of this crazy-childhood time on top.

Miss Muffitt,

I know it isn't easy, being the new kid in school and trying to find where you fit in.  You are so brave, just for putting yourself out there and getting to know other kids and I am so proud of you.  I know it isn't always easy and kids aren't always the nicest.  But I also know that some kids are the nicest and are so excited to be your friend.  You are funny and sweet and caring and smart and beautiful inside and out.  Who wouldn't want to be your friend?

I also want you to know that something happens at your age, as far as friendships go.  It gets kind of tricky.  Girls often start comparing themselves to other girls and may not feel very good about themselves.  They might not feel pretty enough or smart enough.  When they should love themselves for who they are, many do not and many don't get the love and support they need at home.  Some of these girls get sad, while others get mean and jealous.  It can be a hard time in middle school, as children figure out what they're good at and what they're not so good at.  When you're a little kid, you think you're awesome at EVERYTHING {and so do your mom and dad}, but when you get older, you start to see that maybe other kids are better than you at certain things.  And it might make some kids feel like they aren't good enough, even when they are.

Another thing happens in friendships at your age too.  Groups of friends start turning into cliques.  A group of friends usually have the same interests or classes or sports and have lots to talk about and share.  A group of friends lets you leave the group to talk or eat lunch with other kids who are not in the group.  A clique is a little different because it usually has a leader {the loud, bossy girl in the group} and if you want to leave the clique to eat lunch with another kid, you could be kicked out of the clique.  Dumb, right?  The thing that might feel good about being in a clique is that you belong.  And belonging feels good.  We all like to feel like we belong.  In a clique though, you only belong for as long as you do what the rest of the clique is doing.  That's a lot of pressure.  What if you don't agree with what the other kids in the group are doing?  Do you have the confidence to do something different?  To do the right thing?  Or when you tell them you want to eat lunch with another friend, will you stay with them because they got mad at you and made you feel bad?

This is your life and your experience and as your mom, of course I want the very, very best for you.  I just want you to be aware of these things, so that you know.  Cliques have been around since forever, even when I was a kid.  So have mean kids.   And look!  I lived to tell about it!  You will find your way through this crazy girl-drama time and I will always have your back.  But what I want most for you, is that you do what makes you happy.  I hope you find and keep friends who make you happy and let you be happy and want you to be happy.  And I hope you are the same friend for someone else.  I hope you know that it's better to stand out than it is to be like everyone else.  I hope you know that no other child has the power to boss you around, but you.  If your friends ever turn their back on you because you don't agree with them, then I feel sorry for them.  Because they lost a good friend and you deserve better.

Be a friend to everyone.  Be nice to everyone.  Say hi to someone new everyday {that's gotta be easy when you're the new kid}.  Treat everyone kind.  Choose friends because they make you feel good about yourself.  And don't waste time on those who make you feel bad.  YOU get to choose.   Stand up for yourself and be proud of who you are.  I know I am.

I love you always and forever and ever and ever,

Mom








2 comments:

  1. Ugh... Middle school. Otherwise known as the third dimension of Hell.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very good advice not only for children but adults as well :)

    ReplyDelete

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