Cliques already in Kindergarten??

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Having a little girl, I worry about her hitting her teenage years as she tries to find herself and the issues with peer pressure that affects all kids.  As soon as Ella started to show her personality as a toddler, we could see that she was very aware of others and what people thought of her.  She continues to look for approval to confirm that what she is wearing or how her hair is done up makes her look “pretty”.  We were shocked that this started so young for her!

Now that she’s in kindergarten, I’ve already started seeing the cliques and social hierarchy come into play.  The junior and senior kindergarten students are together into one class and although they are only one year apart, it seems like there is a social divide that already exists.  Ella constantly refers to the SK classmates with such admiration – “oh she’s an SK”.  Anytime she gets invited to play with the SK classmates we hear about it that night for sure.

I was recently invited to come observe one of Ella’s classes for the morning.  I guess they do this instead of providing a report card for kindergarten kids.  I was glad to see that Ella was happy interacting with her little friends and really interested in the classroom activities.  After one of the activities she and two others were asked to be the helper and collect the materials back from all the students.  There was one student (an SK girl) who when Ella went to collect the item from her pulled it away to give to one of the other helpers – an SK of course.  Ella didn’t think anything of it and just went to the next student but it bothered me.

Maybe I’m being overly sensitive about this?  Maybe I’m a little naive to think we wouldn’t run into these issues until she was a little older.  Maybe I’m a little sad to think that she already has to deal with these issues in kindergarten.  Whatever it is, I feel like my baby is not a baby anymore and I can’t totally protect her from these things.  I guess this is just the beginning….

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7 thoughts on “Cliques already in Kindergarten??

  1. Unfortunately it does start young and it is beyond heartbreaking. I am afraid I can give no words of wisdom. There are times when my daughter is upset about the older girls not allowing her to play – but she has a wonderful set of friends so I remind her of that fact and tell her to play with them. For some reason she too looks for the acceptance of the older girls and looks up to them, it’s just natural I guess but it certainly doesn’t help us mums!

  2. Aww, I don’t think you’re being too sensitive. I DREAD dealing with cliques when my children reach school age. (My daughter starts preschool in the fall.) I personally know how terrible it can be so I’m extra sensitive on this topic too. I was bullied in 2ND grade… having the entire class (more so certain girls/my friends) not be allowed to talk to me bc one person said so… I also just mentioned to my husband the other day that if I had a hair straightener in middle school, I would have been way more confident and enjoyed myself more because I wouldn’t have fit in better. SAD, i know… but I’m nervous for my kids as well.

    1. I am still in disbelief it starts sooo young! I guess it’s always been the case – maybe I was too oblivious to notice it myself when I was younger. Doing my best to try to help build her internal confidence so hopefully it won’t devastate her once she starts to notice these things. Here’s to hoping that’s the case!

  3. I know how you feel. Truly. I have two children and they’re 10 and 7. My oldest has trouble fitting in at school. He doesn’t swear, stands up for what’s right even if he knows it’s unpopular and tries to include outsiders. He’s not liked. He hurts and it’s hard to watch. We keep telling him to stay true to himself but it hurts my mommy heart and has for years. My 7 year old? A totally popular kid, well liked abd loved and has the same outlook as my older one. You never know why these cliques happen or why your child is the one left out. Keep watching, and hugging sweet Ella. And no, I don’t think you’re being sensitive. You’re the mama bear!!! (Happy SITSsharefest)

    1. Thanks for the support. I guess you can’t control everything (although I try) and just have to support them when something like this happens.

  4. Yes, it is heartbreaking when we realize that our precious and innocent children have to face the realities of our society so soon. And unfortunately, as these little children are humans regardless of their young age, power struggles and peer influences do occur. I bet you though, that Ella was content and proud as she was being a helper just like her teacher wanted her to be without letting that S.K. girl’s action bother her. Raising resilient kids with “backbones” like Barbara Coloroso says, is what I strive to do.

    1. Yup – she barely skipped a beat! It was my who was bothered. I am working hard on teaching her to have a back bone and hopefully preparing for what is to come. Makes my stomach sink just thinking about it.

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