Bitchiness in the Playground
A guest post by Mackenzie Glanville
I still remember the day my daughter Aspen came home from kindergarten intears, her ‘best friend’ had decided that they weren’t ‘best friends’ anymore, but come the next day she wanted to be ‘best friends’ all over again. These girls were four years old, and I’m not going to lie, maybe I was naive, but I was shocked by the young age that bitchiness started in the playground! To be honest I was proud of my daughter when after months of this friends back ‘n forth so called friendship, Aspen found another girl to call her ‘BFF’ who was loyal and sweet.
Over the years I have made a conscious effort to step back from getting involved in minor playground dramas, I read Michael Gross, and I want to raise resilient children and all that, although it’s easier said than done at times, I mean let’s not kid ourselves, there has been days over the years I’ve wanted to scoop up my now 10 year old and wrap her in cotton wool! But I behaved and stood back. We had more dramas when Aspen went into grade one, her sweet friend moved interstate and it was time for Aspen to make new friends. She was well liked so making friends wasn’t an issue, the problem was too many girls wanted to be her new BFF, and my daughter wanted to please everyone. The strong personalities decided to insist she could ‘only play with them’! This led to Aspen coming home in more tears because she didn’t want to exclude anyone. It took a good six months and one girl actually slapping another girl across the face, (I know crazy right?) before things started to settle down. Aspen worked out who was worthy of the new ‘BFF’ title, and still had the freedom to allow plenty of others to join in.
Naturally there are still some tears now and then (Aspen’s what we call our sensitive soul, she doesn’t get it from me . . . . OK yes she totally gets it from me, just don’t tell anyone I admitted that), late last year she came out of the classroom and burst into tears, when I finally calmed her down and her words made sense, I learnt that her BFF was mad at her.
Why? Well turns out there is a boy involved. Now it’s all completely innocent, Aspen has no interest in boys yet, (I’m not in denial!) This boy who is a good friend was chasing her around the school and just hanging around Aspen too much according to her best friend. Aspen was enjoying playing with this boy and I guess her BFF felt left out, oh the drama! Anyway after some video chats that night it was all sorted in 5 seconds
flat, all was forgiven and their friendship is still going strong!
I guess this is an indication of the years to come, I seriously need to book a therapist, for me and her!! What is it though with girls? What is it with women? I asked this in a recent post I wrote on ‘grown up bullies,’ I mean why can’t we all be a little nicer to each other, you know all that “I am woman hear me roar”, bra burning, more power to us stuff, OK maybe I am not burning any bras, they cost lots of money and let’s face it they keep my boobs looking awesome (I’m not in my 20’s anymore, and I have 3 kids)! But you know what I mean right?! It is sad to see the way women can treat each other, all that competitiveness and bitchiness, and to see in start in kindergarten just makes me question our own behaviour as mothers and role models.
I think there is a natural tendency to compete, it is bred into us from way back, survival of the fittest and all that, and of course we have the cutest kid, the funniest, we all think that, (well mostly I do, when my son Adam (aged 2 at the time), drew all over my tiles a week after we moved into our newly built dream home I didn’t think he was very funny! And as cute as my blogging dog (yes my puppy Holly is a genius, she actually does have her own Website), when she poops on my floor and stinks out the playroom, that’s not all that cute either, well until she looks at me with those innocent eyes! OK they are both pretty cute, as I was typing away I thought I better check on them, Adam now 5, had Holly’s puppy bed on my bed, they were both having a rest, too cute!! Although I had too swiftly remove them off my bed because that is not allowed. OK back on track . . .
We all want the best for our children, we want them to grow up in a safe environment and have them grow into smart, talented, successful, good-looking, sporty, artistic, humorous, respected adults, oh with a high paying job, a gorgeous family, stunning home and some time off to travel, anything else??????? Probably! I think this brings out our competitive spirit and unfortunately sometimes our bitchy side too. We judge what other mums are wearing, what car they drive, their postcode, we are harsh on them if they are too good looking, or hate them for snagging the hot rich husband. The competitiveness gets out of control, I mean have you been to a kids birthday party lately? We can’t win, if we have the best house we are talked about behind our backs, if we have the worst, well we are talked about too. If our child is the ‘smart one’ people don’t like us, if our child is the one who pushed another one in the playground, well no play dates for you! What happened to women supporting other women?
Whether we like it or not, we are role models to young girls! The way they hear us talk about other women affects how they will grow up to treat other women. We have to remember to teach our children to be there for each other, to support each others dreams, to encourage women to follow their passions. We hopefully all have that BFF who has our back, but wouldn’t it be nice if we had more friends like that?
Since I started running my 3 websites I have been blown away by some amazing and generous women I have met and the opportunities, such as this one writing for Mum’s Lounge, have been awesome! The support I have received has been amazing, and it is what inspires me to keep going, to follow my passion. The more we support one another the more amazing our own lives become. I encourage you to open yourself up to your dreams and to be a positive role model to young girls, let’s show them what sisterhood really means, and the next time you go to have a good bitch, stop and think whether you would like someone saying that about you, and if you still have to do it at least make sure there’s no children in earshot.
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx
Mackenzie Glanville is a freelance writer, blogger, University graduate, the creator of reflectionsfromme.com and it’s offspring photography.reflectionsfromme.com and dogblog.reflectionsfromme.com. She is currently working on her novel, as well as running around after 3 amazing children, 1 hot hubby, 5 chickens, and a blogging puppy. Mac is an advocate for women’s rights, human rights, and through her dog blog champions the rights of animals. She is funny, wacky, and very reflective.