Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Little Girl is very social. She makes friends everywhere she goes. But even at the age of six, she's already experienced some friend troubles. Last year, in kindergarten, we occasionally heard the, "She's not my best friend anymore, now she's so and so's best friend" type of story, but didn't think too much about it. After all, that's what little girls do.

But this weekend, she said something that amazed me, both that it's occurring and that she has the insight to recognize what's occurring. You see, "Grandma" teaches at the same school that Little Girl attends, and Little Girl goes home with her. This means Little Girl is often there after school longer than the other kids.

Another little girl in her class is also a teacher's kid, and like Little Girl, is usually there after school hours.

Well, Grandma made a comment the other day about this child, McKenzie. She told my sister that Little Girl had said McKenzie isn't her friend anymore, but McKenzie is always in her room after school asking to play with Little Girl, so she doesn't know why Little Girl says that.

My sister was surprised, looked over at Little Girl, and said, "McKenzie's your friend, isn't she??"

Little Girl had been listening to the conversation but hadn't said a word until now. She explained, "McKenzie is my friend after school, but she's not my friend during school."

That's a loaded sentence. To explain exactly what she meant, after we clarified it ourselves, after school when all the other kids have gone home and there's nobody else to play with, McKenzie is perfectly happy to play with Little Girl, but during school when there are other girls to choose from, she's not so friendly...

I should have titled this post "Lessons from a Six Year Old" too. Because I must admit that I'm impressed with Little Girl's reaction to this situation. She recognizes the faultiness of the relationship and the not-so-nice quality of the other little girl, and yet treats her just the same and continues to play with her just as if McKenzie were always nice to her.

Those people are always out there... the people who are friends with you only when it's convenient for them, or who are friends with you because they want something and once they've got it they don't want your friendship anymore. I'm glad Little Girl has figured out the best response at such an early age -- hopefully she won't change in this quality as she grows. To recognize a friend isn't *really* a friend, but to continue to be a real friend to them... that is a beautiful thing. I'm proud of her. :)


Christine said...

It takes a lot of us a long time to learn something like that. Some people never learn it.

Of course it makes me sad your little 6 YO niece knows a not-very-nice-girl.

Prairie Rose said...

Yes, but unfortunately, not-very-nice people seem to be everywhere. She might as well learn to deal with it now as later!