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I don't like Mean Girls, they suck. Mean Girls are, quite obviously, mean to other people. But the other part I don't like about Mean Girls is they pressure the Nice Girls to also be mean, or at the very least, turn a blind eye to their mean-ness. If you were to stand up to the Mean Girls, you very much would risk them turning their focus on you. That's something scary when you are a teenager just trying to survive the crazy world of high school.
But here's the thing that I didn't know, or didn't think about, before I had kids--Mean Girls don't just magically appear in high school. They have to start somewhere, right? And I got a little taste of it today. Apparently, Mean Girls start around the age of four. FOUR?!?! Seriously?
We were out at a place where Little Man was playing with other kids. I was keeping an eye on him, as I always do when we are in situations with other kids. I mean, you never know what a three-year-old will do or say. So, I watch from a distance and make sure he is sharing, using nice words and being a good boy. And he was! I was so proud of him, watching him approach a pair of girls and try to play with them. I have seen one of the girls before and know from prior experience that she is very sweet. The second girl, though? Turns to the first girl, looks at my son and says "That kid is the WORST. Let's go!!" and takes the blocks and moves. Luckily, I think it went right over Little Man's head. But it broke my heart and made me angry all at the same time.
I looked to see where the Mean Girl's mom was. Shockingly, she was very busy talking and not paying attention to her daughter. Which made me wonder if that is where this all starts. You are always told Mean Girls are mean to cover up their own insecurities. Does that start because when they were four-years-old, their moms were too self-absorbed to put the time and attention in? I don't know the answer. But I do know that I will be putting in the time, effort and work to make sure I don't have a Mean Girl, or a Mean Boy for that matter.