Thursday, October 11, 2007

First Grade Friendships, and Other Mysteries of Life

As parents, we try our best to steer our children on the path to being a kind, compassionate person. No matter how hard we try though, once they walk out the door and are no longer under Mom and Dad’s watchful eye, you just don’t know what your child is up to. Until you hear about it from someone else, of course!

Last week I went to Curriculum Night at my daughter’s school, where parents come, unaccompanied by their children, and they get to see the classroom and get an overview of what happens in a typical school day. I sat at my daughter’s desk, next to a friend of mine, whose daughter is in the same first grade class and sits next to my daughter. We met last year through our girls, who were in the same dance class. As we are sitting there, my friend proceeds to tell me about a recent “incident” where her daughter came home very upset because my girl told her that she has decided to only have one friend a day, and that this was not her (the other girl’s) day to be my girl’s friend. So, this little girl went home crying and very upset. Of course, at this point, I couldn’t be more proud… (Sarcasm, for those of you who do not know me personally.) My friend then goes on to say that the next day, her daughter came home very happy, because apparently that day had turned out to be her day to be my daughter’s friend! Well, I got home that night and we sat down for a little chat about friendship and I asked my daughter if she could name some of my friends, which she did. I pointed out that Mommy has a number of friends, not just one, and I said that it’s good to be friendly and nice to everyone and to make lots of friends. I also pointed out a flaw in her plan of only one friend a day – what if she chooses someone who has the same plan, and it turns out that that is not HER day to be THEIR friend? She seemed to follow that logic.

And then last night I get home from work at 6pm and I am greeted with my daughter telling me that she and the same girl got into a “fight” because my daughter felt her friend was being too loud and was distracting her from her work, and so naturally she told the girl this, and things escalated and my daughter said, “I don’t want to be your friend anymore!” Fabulous. I could feel another friendship talk was in need! But before I could sit down with her to discuss this, the phone rang, and ANOTHER friend of mine (the mother of my daughter’s best friend since preschool) was calling to tell me that her daughter was so upset about a fight that the girls had had on the playground, that she thought that she would call so the girls could talk and sort it out. And I said, “Gosh, I’m so sorry, I hadn’t heard anything about it!” Which surprised her, because her daughter was so upset! (I didn’t tell her that I had barely finished hearing about the OTHER little girl that was upset over a similar situation, and we had not quite reached this second argument of the day…) So my friend told me that apparently, they were on the playground, and her daughter said that so and so was her boyfriend, and then my daughter said ‘No, he’s MY boyfriend’ and it got to the point that of course, my daughter said what has now apparently become her catch-phrase, “I don’t want to be your friend anymore!” UGH. So, I put my girl on the phone and I heard, “Yeah. Yeah. I know! I already made you THREE cards!! Yes, yeah, yes, ok, bye!” And with that, peace had been restored and they were best friends again!

I certainly hope that this is a common occurrence in the first grade, and not just some bizarre behavior that my child has picked up! If anyone has any insight, by all means, please share! Needless to say, we sat down for another talk about how friends should act. In her defense, this was slightly different from the previous friend “issue” – instead of limiting herself to just one friend a day, she was branching out and arguing with TWO friends in one day! Baby steps? Let’s see, it’s the beginning of October – I have a feeling it’s going to be a LONG school year!


Christine said...

Ok I just have no advice for that one! But I did want to say-BEAUTIFUL picture of you and the girls! When did you get that done?

Deanna said...

Thank you! It is a picture my dad took during my baby's 1 year photo session. I thought I'd try putting this in instead of the other one, and then I wasn't sure which I liked better, but since you liked this, I'll leave it! I'll show you the rest of the pix when I finally get them back -- he's been a little busy, but he will hopefully put the order in next week!

Teamcarbone said...

Oh dear what a difficult phase she's coming to. I'm sure you'll both get through it; remember you're a great friend to us, therefore, you're a good role model for your DD.

I agree with Chrissy, love the new picture!

Deanna said...

Thank you -- that's very sweet! And btw, LOVED the picture of your little girlie! What a sweet little angel!