It always amazes me the “things” I learn when driving the children’s carpools. It’s as if they assume there is a magical barrier that blocks out their conversation from those sitting in the front seat from the those having the conversation further back in the car.
Case in Point: During a recent carpool, I learned that my daughter formed a “group” and she was the self-appointed leader. I had to chuckle (inwardly, of course) because, well let’s face it – the apple never falls far from the tree. Both my husband and I are planners, schedulers and tend not to shy away from taking the lead, so it’s no surprise that our first-born would be any different. What surprised me, however, was the reason this group formed. Apparently, there is a child in my daughter’s grade who is not particularly nice and has risen to the level of “popular girl”. From what I have learned, she is not pleasant with those who are not “her friends” and she “appoints” whom she will be friends with and whom those appointed can be friends with.
Did I mention my daughter is eight years-old?
I learned while driving in the car with the imaginary barrier safely shielding this conversation, that my daughter began “her group” because she felt terrible for those who were cast away by this popular girl. Her group was all-welcoming, but you had to denounce your friendship with this popular girl.
At this point, I had to remove the magical barrier and give my daughter and her friends, my two cents. I explained to the girls that their group is no better than the popular group when they begin excluding others. They thought about this further and seemed to grasp the point, but really to no avail. “But SHE is mean and goes out of her way to be mean.”
I debated about getting involved any further. I emphasised the importance of ignoring this popular girl and enjoying the friendships they do have with each other. I hoped that would be the end of this issue. However, it seems to have escalated and has begun to impact a decent amount of my daughters’ friends – all of whom are unhappy because of this popular girl.
So what is a mother to do? Of course, I would love to call this girl’s mother and give her a piece of my mind, but that would be pointless and futile – solving nothing. I am proud my daughter rejected being a member of this exclusive group, but forming her own is not the answer. And in all honesty, I wish this could just resolve itself. I remember mean girls back in my day – maybe not this young – but they were present. I used the “ignore” method and it worked for me despite the very hurt feelings.
So again I ask, what is a mother to do? Mothers who have experienced this, what advice to you have for us?