Kids are Cruel


Ever since Jasper moved to the preschool room in January, he has been best buds with a boy named Derek.  Every day in the car on the way home from daycare we talk about his day and it goes something like this:

Who did you play with today Jasper?
“Derek!” he always says (or, “My girlfriend Shelby”)

Derek is quite a bit older than Jasper, but they did overlap in the infant room for the first few months that Jasper went to daycare. I remember Derek use to bring me little presents and leave them on my knee while I was nursing Jasper on my lunch hour.  He’s such a sweet kid and I’m always so happy when I drop Jasper off and he’s there because they start playing immediately and I can leave without any protests from Jasper. In fact, Fridays when Derek and Shelby are out are difficult days – sometimes I have to stay 15+ minutes until Jasper finds an activity or someone to play with.

So last night on the car ride home Jasper said “Let’s talk about my day mommy” and I asked “Who did you play with?”

“My girlfriend Shelby” he replied.

“Did you play with Derek?”

“No, Derek’s not my friend anymore Mommy, he’s only friends With Jun Wan.”

He said it mater-of-factly without any apparent hurt , which just made it somehow all the more sad and my heart shattered into a million pieces for him on the spot.

I tried to get out of him what happened, why he and Derek weren’t friends anymore but I could only understand that someone wouldn’t sit next to someone and someone hurt someone else in line. I have no idea what really went down, and quite possibly it was nothing, or quite possibly Jasper started the whole thing. But just the mere idea that my baby’s feelings would EVER get hurt is pretty much the saddest thing I can ever imagine.   How am I going to handle him going to real school?

It reminds me of this quote I heard a while ago:

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone

Truer words were never spoken.

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cynthia says:

first off when did your boy get SO BIG?!!! He’s so so handsome!

Just today I was at some playspace area at the mall and my son was so much more interested and playing with the other kids than climbing all over the place. It just made me start thinking, “what if the other kids don’t want to play with him?”, “what if they push him down?”. I know how to handle the logistics of those situations but my heart hurts thinking if I’ll ever get the question “mommy won’t they play with me?”

Samm says:

Aww…same thing happened to my Mia with her ex-bff, Lucy. But after a couple weeks they got back together.

Jessica says:

Moments like this kill me every time.

Melanie says:

Awww… sweet boy! We have been there too and the good news with boys is that they swing back to best friends almost the next day. ;-) But it is heartbreaking to watch from the sidelines, isn’t it? So hard!

My son is going into 2nd grade and I had a very hard time when he went from the safety net of preschool to what I saw as the “shark tank” of kindergarten and beyond. I wasn’t ready for the real world to have him yet. ;-) I don’t know if it ever gets “easier” but it does become more bearable over time.

ariana says:

Sara – big kids can be so mean.. age is like EVERYTHING to kids, to them our little guys don’t exist :( good for you for saying something!

Fiona, they take it pretty seriously, particularly because kids “bring it to school” which is true.. Jasper talks about the movies all the time. I went from 3rd-12 grade and LOVED it!

Fiona says:

I’ve briefly looked into W.School for my daughter….I know they have a kind of no TV policy but seriously…do they enforce it? Good luck anyway….do you have any alternatives? Did you go to a Waldorf school from start to finish?

Sara says:

How heartbreaking! We have these 2 little girls (6 and 7) that hang out at our tot lot. Marino always runs up them and says “hi guys! wanna play” and they literally ignore him. They love out dog so he’ll pet the dog with them and say “this is my dog” with this look like “how cool is this” and they act like he doesn’t exist. He’ll literally go kick rocks, he gets so sad. I’ve already told them it hurts his feelings if they don’t respond to him. But my heart shatters in a thousand pieces when he is sad b/c of someone else.
I’ll bet Derek and Jasper are BFFs again soon.

ariana says:

Christina & Courtney this makes me so sad – I would have cried too :( Four year olds should NOT have to deal with cruelty or even disappointment… god I wish we could just protect them forever!!!

Christina says:

Aww, sweet Jasper. This photo of him makes him look so much older! My son has a difficult time with drop off too but then has a blast while he’s at school. Being a mother is not for the faint of heart. Hope they’re back to being friends soon!

I so had my first taste of this, with my 4 year old when she enrolled in preschool this year. My heart hurts reliving it through your story.

Christina says:

I went through something similar the last week of preschool with my (almost) four year old. She told me that kids were mean to her, pick on her, call her weird and pull her hair when the teacher is not looking. I cried an entire half day over it. I really am still not over it, but it was even harder because she was crushed about it :( Being a parent is hard.

GiGi says:

(((HUGS))) I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t get any better as they get older. My 9 year old is one of those kids who takes a ‘quality over quantity’ attitude about making friends. He’s kinda shy and prefers to focus on a few close friends rather than be a social butterfly. This makes the hurt that much more intense, even over the silliest of arguments.

I’m much like my boy in that matter and my heart shatters for him every time I hear him tell me about it. I do my best to be a positive voice and often the matters are resolved quickly. But I do have to admit that, in my heart, I hold onto that hurt much longer than he does. I say little, but I still feel it all. But then again, I think that is my job as his mom. I’ll take the hurt for him and free him to bounce back.

I hope that this will be a non-event for Jasper. And I hope that, for you, this will only be a momentary blip – at least for now.

(((more hugs)))

ariana says:

Hi Fiona, yes!! I definitely want him to go to W. school.. in fact, the plan had been for him to go this fall, but we have a bit of a problem in that I have TOTALLY failed to keep him from TV and movies. in fact, he’s obsessed with disney movies and they will freak if he comes in talking about rapunzel and buzz light year all day.. I don’t know what I’m going to do :(

Fiona says:

Couldn’t agree more. That quote is exactly right. I also wonder how I will ever let my girly go to school. What will I do? Will you be sending Jasper to a Waldorf school? Great blogs recently. Good luck with your baby plans. Xx

ariana says:

Oooh Jenny, so excited for you, you will LOVE that lens!

Good point Kristy..I’m so glad our boys are such good friends!

Kristy says:

Awww! Being a kid is hard… I think being a parent is much harder! One of the things that I learned over many years of teaching is that kids forgive and forget much more easily than adults do. I have had students BRAWL, then make up and be friends the next day. Often, parents hold a grudge or hurt feelings long after the kids forget. I am sure he and his pal will be besties again soon. (If not, Jonas says he will be Jasper’s best friend :-)

BTW.. I have a 70-200 on the way :)

Bless your heart! J isn’t even my kid and I had tears in my eyes while reading. Yes, as they get older they will experience the not so nice kids out there. The good thing is at this age they usually forget pretty fast and hopefully they will be best buds again today. It’s hard, especially when your kids are hurt. The best thing you all can do is parents is teach right from wrong and the rest will fall in place :)