Thursday, March 10, 2011

Scammed by mean girls

The third grade is quite a roller coaster. There are the numerous standardized tests, increased amounts of homework, the constant projects and emotions. It's the emotions that are so darn problematic. The forming of classroom cliques is something I didn't expect at this age. In my mind I think they didn't happen back in the day. The reality is they did and I was just oblivious to it all. I have to attribute that blindness to the luckiness of having my childhood best friend in class with me. She and I were peas in a pod from the first day of first grade. So long as we were together it didn't matter what was going on around the social loop.

Olivia has her own pea pod pal in class this year. They have been having a good year. There have been some issues but that is typical. Currently there is this little group of girls in her class that have been trying to break the two of them apart. I'm not quite sure why. It's something. A something that is making Olivia upset. She does not mind playing with other kids actually she likes large group play. What is happening is good old fashion mean girls nonsense. Olivia and her friend G are the some of the best behaved kids in class. They know when to buckle down and listen. I'm sure they are rewarded often for this on account of their good deed bucks they keep racking up. Those things are noticed by other kids. Those bucks can be used to buy little toys from the treasure box, homework passes, sitting next to your buddy for a day or lunch in the classroom. Olivia and G have been saving up to have lunch alone in the classroom. It costs $150 good deed bucks. They are halfway there. Correction they were there but now they are halfway there.

It turns out some other girls in the class which Olivia and G play with wanted to set up a lunch in the classroom for all 5 of them. Those 3 other girls sweet talked Olivia and G to hand over some good deed bucks for the lunch. Olivia and G being nice trusting girls gave those other girls, one of them was the leader, some of their bucks. Thinking that is was going to be set up both Olivia and G didn't think much of it. They just waited to hear what day all of them would have lunch. Yesterday they learned the truth. Olivia and G were approached by those 3 girls in an unfriendly way. Olivia and G playing together outside at recess when the other girls came up to them to break the news.

It went something like this:
3 girls: "Oh, we're so sorry that you're going to miss all the fun tomorrow."
Olivia & G: "What fun? What are you talking about?"
3 girls: "Lunch in the classroom."
Olivia & G: "What? Tomorrow? Why didn't you tell us?"
3 girls: "We are telling you. We are having lunch in the classroom while you two will have to go to the cafeteria with the rest of the class."
Olivia & G: "We thought we were going to be in your group."
3 girls: "Not anymore. It's just us. Not you."

 Those 3 girls very likely left Olivia and G standing there with their mouths open and fully confused. It was at that moment that my girl realized she was taken advantage of by her supposed friends. A heartbreaking moment. No one likes to feel they were tricked nor unwanted. The consolation is that at least Olivia and G were in this mess together. Still it does not make it justified or hurt less. As Olivia and G tried to piece this mess together they concluded that they were scammed. Olivia and G tried to get some justice from those girls by telling those girls that they stole good deed bucks by tricking them. Of course that ended up in a typical "yes you did" "no I didn't" argument.

As Olivia recounted the story to me I noticed how hurt she was by those classmates. She didn't see that coming especially since all of them were playing together for a while now. It was an eye opening moment. Olivia and G did not pursue classroom justice via the teacher. It's not worth the nasty fight it would develop. I plan on talking to her teacher privately about this but not to get the bucks back. I am doing so only as a way to give her teacher a heads up as to why Olivia is upset with some of those girls. My advice to Olivia was simple. I told her that there will always be kids that want to do hurtful things to other kids and sometimes you end up being that kid. In her situation I suggested that all future good deed bucks purchases should be handled directly with her teacher. I mentioned that if she wanted to do another group treat that she hold on to her bucks until she can verify that her teacher will have them in hand. I also suggested that they all agree to dividing the cost between them and submitting the bucks together.

In the meantime Olivia and G will continue to save their good deed bucks. Thankfully their excellent behavior will get them back to their goal very soon. I hope that they won't become another target to some other mean girls type shenanigans. The nice quiet girls are unfortunate targets to lousy deeds. Third grade is not supposed to be this hard on little ones. This sort of behavior is what you would see in middle school why must it begin so early? I am bothered by this spite directed at my very sweet girl. I can't prevent mean girls from hurting my girl's feelings but I can be there with a hug and kiss ready to help mend those broken feelings.

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