Monday, August 25, 2008

Sometimes life really isn't fair

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and an aching heart. I've just driven Caitlin to her dance lesson and on the way she started to talk to me about some stuff that's been going on with a couple of her friends. Caitlin doesn't have a large group of friends, when I told her she can ask whoever she wants to her birthday party she only came up with 3 names, so this is not a small problem.

Friend 1, for no readily apparent reason, has taken to telling friend 2 that if F2 wants to spend time with F1 then she can't spend time with Caitlin and conversely that should F2 choose to spend time with Caitlin then F2 will not be allowed to spend time with F1. F1 has been one of Caitlin's closest friends since they started kindy together. F2 came into the picture in year 1. These are long-standing friendships and Caitlin (despite much probing questioning from me) can't work out what has gone wrong. The questioning comes about because I have no illusions about my kids, they're all just as capable as any other kid of being unpleasant to be around.

But, whatever Caitlin's faults may be, she has never and would never do something like this to anyone she knew and it's killing me that it's happening to her.

We had invited F1 to come ice-skating on Saturday but seeing as, along with the power plays above, F1 has alos been saying she doesn't need to come ice-skating with Caitlin because she can do that any time with her family I'm now thinking maybe it's not such a great idea. The really fun part will be explaining to F1's mum why we're changing the plans. I'm leaning heavily towards telling the truth.

7 comments:

Megan said...

telling the truth (in a polite way) sounds like a good idea to me. Poor Caitlin - I hope she has a good birthday anyway!

suze2000 said...

God, kids can be cruel, can't they?

I have no advice. *kicks F1*

Shrinking Tardie said...

Truth sounds like the best way Mim.

As a parent (especially as a mum) I don't think there's anything more heart wrenching (when they go wrong) or uplifting (when they go right) than watching our children going through the throes of childhood friendships.

I really hope that you and Caitlin can sort something out.

Hugs...Nat

Lisa66 said...

Oh, Mim, I went through something similar with one of my boys earlier in the year and it was heart wrenching. He is older, a pre teen and obviously male, so the issues were different (there's no way I could intervene) but I do totally understand how helpless you feel.

Can I suggest that you have a private word to the girls' teacher before you take any other action. She will be better placed to get to the bottom of this and perhaps solve it without anyone's toes being stepped on.

We mothers are lionesses where our kids are concerned and sometimes parents do not like to hear the truth about their kids (believe me, 10 years of teaching experience taught me this!!)

Of course if you are forced to talk to F1's mother then honesty is definitely the best policy, but maybe it won't get to that.

From my teaching experience I can tell you that this type of thing is extremely common, and it doesn't say anything about Caitlin. Sometimes these things are the result of a misunderstanding and can be fixed with the right type of adult intervention. And sometimes the solution is to find another group of friends (not the easiest thing to achieve sometimes.) Talk to the teacher. At the very least she might be able to advise you on the est course of action.

Dina said...

I'm sorry : (

It's so sad and confusing.

I wish I could say it's just a childhood thing, but I think adults can be equally cruel.

All the betrayal, backstabbing, cliques, alienation, etc.....It NEVER ends.

Mim said...

I spoke to the mum this afternoon, she's actually someone I'm quite friendly with so it wasn't too awkward though I'm sure it can't have been a fun conversation for her. Turns out that at home F1 has been full of excitement about the ice-skating and has been lording it over her older sister saying the sister isn't allowed to come because it's her special outing with Caitlin. I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow after they've "had a talk".

Mim said...

Lisa, it looks like I'll be having a talk to the teacher too. Further conversation with Cait this afternoon suggests that she is in fact being subjected to bullying behaviour from a number of her classmates. In fact she says there's only one girl who isn't mean to her, and that's F2.