By Diane Ako
It seems to be a long standing truth in society that females can be difficult: catty, mean, moody, dramatic. I actually think males can be difficult in their own way, but by and large, this is how the stereotype goes.
Olivia seems to have come upon a "mean girl" phase at school. To be honest, she has never been a sweet, pliant, people-pleasing child. She is stubborn and willful and knows what she wants, for better and for worse!
There is a girl who I"ll call A. Apparently, the two have not gotten along all quarter since school started, and the drama has intensified to the point where Olivia came home from school saying, "A called me ugly. I don't like her."
At school the next day I saw A, who is to my mind, a pretty, sweet, likable kid. A tattled to me, "Olivia is mean to me."
I looked at my kid. "Is this true?"
Olivia looked straight at A and said, "You called me ugly!"
A retorted, "You said I'm not the boss of you!"
Evil stares. Did I really just witness this silly exchange?
Sometimes in the parallel universe that lives in my head I imagine what adult life would be like if grown ups talked to each other like this. It's amusing. No wait. It happens, but with different words. *sigh*
Now it's my obligation to mitigate this. I really don't know what to say. I talked about how not to name call, and how they shouldn't be mean to each other. I said if you don't like each other then don't talk to each other, but it's not necessary to verbally poke at each other.
Later in the week, I asked the teacher what's the story on that. "Different personalities. Not everyone is going to like each other, right? They have to learn to tolerate."
The tension is so great that the two girls had to be separated in the seating chart and can't even look at each other without creating some kind of fuss.
Ridiculous! I can't believe this is happening at age six!
Six! I think I have hard days at work but I guess Olivia does in her own way.
Any suggestions on how I should handle it or should I just ride it out and let the girls figure out how to live with tolerance?