Monday, January 17, 2011

The big lie: preschool boy drama

I was lied to. Deceived. I was told that my no-pink consolation prize would be drama-free boys. Bologna. Whomever has been spreading those rumors should have been at the play date that I orchestrated this afternoon. Disaster. High drama that could compete with any Kelly-Brenda 90210 episode.

I'll set the scene. Three high energy boys from the JCC, gathered together at the Kargas family home for a late afternoon get together. There would be tacos, ice cream sandwiches and good times. Well there were tacos...

It turns out three really is a crowd. We had Zachary, "Miles" (a child whom we have had many play dates with, and who's mother I really like), and Jeff (a new friend from preschool). Oh, and Evan, poor little tag-along Evan. The boys greeted each other with unprecedented energy. Voices were raised, toys were thrown, children were running in all directions. But that was the least of it. There was fighting. Lots and lots of fighting. Power struggles. Taking sides. Threats made. "You're not my friend!" "You can't come to my house anymore!" It sucked. Play date disaster. Zachary was mean and it made me angry. His friends were mean to him. Miles made him cry. And it broke my heart.

To make things worse, I learned that another little boy at school "Leonard" has been threatening Miles. He told Miles that if he continues to be friends with Zack, he will not be invited to Leonard's birthday party. Miles is petrified of Zack play dates because he doesn't want to miss out on Leonard's party! Zack informed me that Leonard often says that he hates Zack. I just had a long phone conversation with Leonard's mom. She was so kind and understanding, and I felt like I was being one of those busy-body moms, sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. Making mountains out of mole hills.

The truth is that in my mind, I am pressing the fast-forward button on Zachary's life. I am seeing him in middle school, standing alone on the playground, sad and angry, the other kids snickering behind his back.

Okay, so I am being crazy. He is only five. They are still learning how to connect socially and establish friendships. They are going to make mistakes and hit bumps in the road, this must all be normal. Right?

I just wasn't expecting preschool boy drama. Has anyone else out there seen this?


  1. My son went through a lot of friends between kindergarten and fourth grade. Some of them were down right mean and came right out and said I don't want to play with you. I told him that if they were going to be that mean, they weren't worth hanging out with. Then I encouraged him to go make new friends. I would ask him if there were any other kids from his class that were nice and would play with him. He'd name a few. Then I would say play with them. He's had about two or three really good friends now that he's known a couple of years. So it's working out.

    I understand the worry that somehow your kid will end up being a social outcast. Patience is the best thing. It's hard though.

    I think that it was the proper thing to do to let Leonard's mom know what was going on. That's just awful behavior. My only other thought is to talk to Miles' mom about it. Maybe she could explain to Miles that true friends don't use coersion to cement their friendship. Just a thought.

    Seems to me like the school should be handling some of these issues although they can't possibly know what goes on all the time. I know since I'm a playground aide. That'll turn your hair gray quick.

    Hope this helps some. It's hard getting kids up and running and keeping our hearts from breaking along the way.

  2. Honestly, for every good play date and friendship working out there's going to be a bad one. I feel your pain. We rang up my little boys friend Nic (again) today to cross the street to our house for a play (he lives exactly opposite us and they've been playing all holiday but today his mum said he couldn't come as Josh (from their class) was coming over. Oh. I just told my son Nic was busy with family friends but then he opened the blinds and watched Nic and Josh riding bikes. I felt so sad for him. But thats life. Then he spent the day annoying my daughter and her friend like crazy. You are doing everything you can. If Zach is old enough to understand explain why some kids need to exert their power over others. I needed to do that a lot with my daughter and it has made her very pragmatic. Good luck!

  3. Sounds like the school should be doing something (i.e.anti-bullying curriculum maybe). I think you should talk Miles' mother also. Oh boy, does this bring back memories!

  4. Oh this speaks to my heart...I just had a similar experience.