As many of you may know, my little Chempedak has just entered Primary school this year. It was much of an adjustment for me as it was for her. No actually, I think the new school transition had a higher impact on me. Kindergarten was always a comfortable and fun learning environment, and while there were episodes where she came home in tears, I knew it wasn’t anything a comforting hug and a chat couldn’t cure.
But school… well…school’s different, and kids can be so mean.
Her first few weeks went by rather well. Then her first encounter with real life occurred.
Chemps has a best buddy in her class, and most of the time, they go about exploring the new routines of daily school life together. Then one day, her friend fell ill for several days and so Chemps found herself a bit lost.
On one of those days when her friend was absent, I picked up a rather glum looking Chempedak from school.
Me: Hi! How was school today?
Me: You don’t sound very happy.
Chemps: Damia didn’t come to school again today.
Me: Ohh.. I see.
Chemps: Just now during recess, I didn’t have anyone to sit with, so I wanted to sit with these other girls from my class. Then one of them yelled at me “Go AWAY!”
I said to her I just want to eat with all of you, then she said “You cannot sit here!”
I didn’t do anything to her, Mommy.
Right there, at that moment, my heart crushed.
We’ve all met them before, the mean girls. Perhaps we were once one of them. But never did I imagine a seven year old would already have that sort of attitude. Heck when I was seven, the entire class ate together under a tall tree by the field and after which we all played catch with much carefree joy. No one cared who could or couldn’t sit where and with whom. We just enjoyed the fun company.
I didn’t know how to explain to my daughter simply because I couldn’t understand it myself. Too young for them to be cliquish and yet it happened. Where did that little girl pick up on this? Older siblings? Cousins? YouTube? TV? Parents? Where?!
Me: Well, that wasn’t very nice of her. It’s ok, as long as you know you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about. I’m sure there are other nice kids you can sit with. Where did you sit after that?
Chemps: With some other girl. We shared our food! It was nice!
Me: That’s great. Don’t have to waste our energy on nasty people. We just be nice to everybody ok?
Sigh. I guess I can only protect her for so long….
May Allah protect my children from the evils of this world and the hereafter.