“No one plays with me at lunchtime Mom.”
Cue the scary music complete with a circle of children teasing laughter and finger pointing. We’re talking about her day at school and when she mentions this, I take a deep breath and keep my voice calm.
“What do you mean, no one plays with you?” My daughter is the only one (insert whichever race/religion/orientation you want, because does it really matter?) in her class and so far (we’re in third grade) things have been great.
“What do you do during lunchtime sweetheart?”
“Walk around by myself.”
She’s such a Chatty Cathy; I can’t imagine her flying solo at lunch.
“Why do you think no one is playing with you?”
“Well Jennifer told them not to talk to me and now they don’t. So after I eat lunch, I just walk around.”
My brain is sizzling now. Jennifer is the class diva, fortunately in the short eight years of her life she has mastered ‘how to win friends and influence people’ and unfortunately she doesn’t use her powers for good.
My Mama Lion instinct is to walk up to that little girl and give her a thing to two to think about. Or maybe call her mom. Tell the teacher? I’m not prepared for this.
What do the experts say if this is happening to your kid? Have them join a club, make different friends. And that leaving someone out of the “group” is a common form of bullying.
And about Jennifer? I’m going to have a chat… with the teacher.