today i witnessed something very sad -- my 4 year old kayla, has been exposed to the evilness that is The Clique.
who would have thought that at the innocent and precious age of 4, such a thing would exist? that at 4 years old, one could willingly and openly exclude another person?
while i'm no stranger to The Clique, it saddens me that kayla will be facing many years of this; of battling and overcoming this cruelty as she begins JK this september knowing this type of treachery will only continue during her entire academic career.
so here's what happened: kayla spends a lot of time with 2 other girls KL and M. i think that kayla and KL are closer but the three of them are usually together for most of the day. when kayla arrived at preschool and i was putting her stuff away, KL and M rushed up to her and right in front of me, KL whispered in kayla's ear "don't be M's friend".
seriously; at 4 years old, what the fuck.
i know she didn't say anything nasty like "M is a wretched bish" but that's not too far off from what she was saying since the end result, if kayla played along, was they skip off together leaving M alone and hurt. we've all seen the movie Mean Girls and we hate all three of those blasted C U Next Tuesdays. i do not want my daughter to be one of those girls.
while i know KL isn't my child and she's only 4, she is obviously old enough to know how to be mean and how to hurt people. what's even worse is that kayla will pick up on stuff like that. i see it already... sometimes if she doesn't get her way, she'll say things like "i'm not your friend!" or "i don't like you!". a couple of times she's told me "i don't love you anymore!" when i said no to something (that stung a lot *sniff*).
so, without thinking, i looked KL dead in the eye and firmly told her that she wasn't being nice; that she can't tell someone (kayla) not be friends with other people; that if she was having a problem with M (or anyone), she needs to work it out with that person; not be mean to them. then i said: what if M told kayla not to be friends with you, would you like that? how would that make you feel? and she responded with "it would make me sad" and so i told her, yes, it would make you sad so that's how M will feel if you say this to other people.
i know that at this age, kids will fight. they'll bicker and be silly and not share and say stupid things like "you're a poo-poo head". i get that. i get that kayla will have to eventually deal with this on a regular basis. i get that i won't be there like i was today to defend her if she was ever in that situation and i get that kayla may be on the receiving end several times. as someone who went through that, it's heart-breaking, cruel and just plain mean.
the thing is, girls and boys are inherently different. boys will hit you in the head, push you down, smack you in the face, trip you. they may even say things like "you're stupid" or "you're a sissy" but when it comes down to it, they just want to play. in general, (young) boys rarely hold grudges, forget about fights and once they duke it out, they're pretty much cool with each other and will probably return to playing with each other until the next (fist) fight.
girls on the other hand are maniuplative. they're cruel and cunning and have a mean streak. i'm a woman and i'm saying this because it's true. i'm not saying all girls are like this but we all have a propensity to be this way. Lous CK (comedian) summed it up perfectly when he described the difference between and girls: boys fuck things up; girls are fucked up. boys just do damage to your house and your body; girls will leave scars in your psyche and fuck with who you are.
i hate to say it, but he's right.
i've witnessed first hand how cruel girls can be - the cliques, the whispers behind your back, the charade of being your friend but then torturing you with mind-fucks as you do whatever you can to "fit in". i'm sure we've all been there at one point and while i know it's not as bad now, witnessing KL made me realize just how close kayla is to that type of dynamic. how do i teach her NOT to follow along? how do i teach her to be confident enough to walk away, sure of her actions and of herself, if she were the victim of that kind of (cliquey) cruelty?
alas, this is something that every girl needs to go through, i guess. it sucks and i don't want her to go through it yet i know it's going to happen. hopefully, she'll be a tomboy and won't have to deal with that crap!