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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