Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The trouble with fifth grade

Answer:  Fifth grade.

Question:  When do kids start becoming petty, mean, clique-y, emotional, hormonal, and ruthless?

Listening in on a conversation, I was pained to hear how judgemental and dismissive the kids were about their classmates. 

I tried to remember their maturity level is not that of an adult.  Hah- half the adults I know can't reach this goal!

I tried to remember what it was like being a kid.  The hurtful things you say, the grudges you always forget to hold five minutes later.  I know this is a necessary attribute of childhood.  These relationships teach us how to treat others, what to look for in a friend, and how to be a friend.  The pain and embarrassment is simply a
bi product of the process that lets us grow into confident adults.

I tried to remember that I don't shield my children from pain.  Then again, I can't tolerate them causing pain to others.

Gaining attention of the group, I pointedly said they were mean.  I explained that each and every kid has an entire life they know nothing about.  You may view a person as stupid, angry, trouble... but you don't know their story.  You don't know where that person comes from and what they are dealing with. 

These are exactly the children I reach out to.  Children that don't behave properly probably have a reason.  Sometimes they need support, or food, or just love.

My soapbox lecture fell on deaf ear.  They resumed their judgements almost immediately.  I kicked them out of my house.

However, I will reserve judgement.  I don't know their story either.

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