mean girls

Last Friday, the Bee got into a fight at her after-school program. Apparently, she and another girl in her class were squabbling, one of the teachers noticed it but didn’t do anything about it, and then the two of them went into the bathroom together, where the other girl grabbed her, pushed her and threatened to break her ankle. The Bee pushed her back, and then left the bathroom and told the other teacher what had happened.

The other girl (let’s call her Lily) didn’t deny any of it at the time, and she ended up getting suspended from after-care for a day. When landisdad went to pick the Bee up, he heard about it from the second teacher, who told him that the Bee had been reprimanded for pushing Lily, but was not getting a more severe punishment. While I agree that the Bee shouldn’t have pushed her, it’s somewhat ridiculous that the other teacher didn’t stop them from going into the bathroom together, or try to stop them from fighting in the first place.

We’re trying to not blow the whole thing out of proportion–the Bee gets into squabbles with other kids in her class, it’s going to happen, they’re kids. She’s six, and while it’s not right, it is true that six- and seven-year-olds do stuff like say, “I’m going to punch you in the eye!” or whatever when they’re mad. We’ve been having a lot of conversations about how she can defuse these kinds of situations without resorting to screaming back at the other kid–walking away, telling a teacher, etc. It’s not really her nature to back down from a fight, and she said to me yesterday morning as we walked to school, “Mom, I can’t just leave when she’s yelling at me,” and I said, “well, we’re going to practice.”

They apparently had another altercation yesterday–Lily was pushing the Bee when they were lined up to come in for recess, and shoved the Bee into a boy from sixth grade, who reported it to their teacher. In the Bee’s retelling, they both got sent to the principal’s office, but no one was disciplined (no one from school called me, either). The Bee says that this time she didn’t push back, so I told her I was proud of her.

One of the most complicating things about this whole situation is that Lily is a girl I’ve blogged about before. And while I don’t know that these two things are related, it’s hard not to view them through that lens.

March 15, 2006. thoughtful parenting. 11 comments.