Sunday, August 7, 2011

Facing second grade - making friends and finding your way.

Tomorrow is my daughter’s first day of second grade. She’s wildly excited and a wee bit nervous.  The open house confirmed a good friend from grade one is in her class and they were thrilled to see each other. Some other girls there seemed to be a bit clique-ish and she was definitely intimated by that.  She knows a few of the boys in the class and likes that – but at almost seven – she’s definitely more interested in the girl bonding.

These other girls have moms that are very active in the PTO (parent teacher cult organization) and clearly have spent lots of time together. My mini-me knows one from last year and temple but she wasn’t so interested in interacting with anyone outside of her little clique. Let’s hope that changes.

Thank goodness her friend, L, got the desk next to hers. They were in class together last year and are in the same Brownie troop. She’s a great girl and has normal parents. All good.

It’s so hard to sit back and watch your child try and connect with new friends.  She was really tickled to hear kids of all ages saying hello to her.  She knows that she’ll have friends in other classes, too but really – it’s all about who you can sit next to.  She’s the youngest in her class and very earnest in wanting to make friends. She still likes to hug her friends hello and goodbye and some of the older (more mature?) girls don’t like that.  I don’t want to hold back mini-me’s natural enthusiasm and know she has to find her own way through what’s acceptable and what’s not in situations like this.

So, along with new pencils, erasers and notebooks – this is the time of year to gather new friends.  She knows some will stick and some will just be classmates. She’s worried about bullies and how to handle them. She wants to be sure she looks cute and has the right supplies. She told me she doesn’t care who is popular and that knows it’s more important to be nice (I really hope she takes that part to heart.)  She knows the only one that has to like her clothes is her (I don’t even have to like it; I just have to approve of it.)

My 47 has not forgotten was 7 was all about and I’m trying to do what I can to make her feel confident and comfortable but let her find her own way.  I never truly fit in but always had a great core group of friends. We may have been outside the inner circle – but we formed our own group.  I think that is pretty much the same for me right now.

My hopes for second grade are simple. May her teacher be strict enough and have a good sense of humor (and a lot of patience.)  May her class be bully free but have one great clown to break things up once in a while. May she be challenged; experience both success and failure.  May she laugh, learn and try new things.  May one or two kids stick and become friends.  And maybe, just maybe she’ll find her own Big Susan.

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