Do We Always Need to Intervene?

I don’t usually write about parenting topics on this blog, but some recent goings on at my son’s school had me thinking. I heard about some “girl drama” between 2 third grade girls who have been super tight since preschool. I decided to ask my son, who is friendly with both girls and pretty socially attuned, for his take on what happened.

Here’s how he put it (names changed to protect the not so innocent): “Shannon and Jennifer were doing something and Michelle wanted to do something different. So they were arguing, and Shannon said she and Jennifer didn’t want to play with her and Michelle wasn’t their friend anymore.”

I felt hurt for Michelle – no one likes to feel left out, and to have your bestie push you aside like that would be crushing. However, all in all it sounds like pretty standard stuff – I certainly went through that and much worse when I was in elementary school.

But the next thing I heard was that the girls involved, plus a few more girls in their friend circle, were all pulled into a meeting with the principal and the school counselor.  They talked it out (or as my friend’s daughter, one of the girls not involved in the incident, but pulled into the meeting, “They were like, and this happened and this happened, and blah, blah, blah, and say sorry and now they’re friends again).

Does it make me a total jerk that I think pulling all the girls into a meeting with the principal is a little overkill? I get it, schools need to intervene in the case of true bullying, but when does a school yard spat cross the line into actual bullying?

Are we truly helping our children by intervening on their behalf whenever they have a negative social interaction? Don’t they need to learn everyone won’t be nice to you all the time, some kids can be jerks, and sometimes, yes, even the person you thought was your best friend will turn on you. It’s part of life, and it’s part of growing up.

Or am I just mean and old school (and possibly secretly resentful that I was always just told to get over it and ignore the mean girls when they turned their sites on me)?

I’m interested in your thoughts.

 

  • December 6, 2013

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