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Monday, March 21, 2011

Can Boys and Girls Be Friends?

Several weeks ago, my Bear had a huge turning point at preschool.  Instead of hearing about what he had done wrong in preschool that day, I heard that he had good days.

He was excited to go to school.  And the credit goes not to his teacher, but to his friend Emily.(This is not her name, doesn't sound anything like her name, but was what he thought her name was for a few days, before he figured out what her real name is and is what I'll call her in this post b/c she is not my child.)

Emily and Bear adored each other.  She was very patient or maybe a little bossy, but in a good way, and helped him to stay focused at school and do what he was supposed to be doing.

They were just so cute together.  They were the ones who started the flash mob on their preschool field trip.
Again, not my child, so no pics of her on my blog, but I promise you that her smile is just as big as Bear's.

But, last week, he got in the van after school and said through tears, "I can't be Emily's friend any more."

"Why, honey?"

"I can't, I can't, no more friends with girls," said with a very emphatic head shake.


But, I let it go.  Because when he gets his mind set on something or starts getting upset, it's really best not to push him.

Until, he stopped wanting to go to school.  He started getting upset about having to go and saying that he didn't have friends.

*sound of mama's heart breaking*

His teacher asked me if I knew what happened between him and Emily.  So, I decided to push a little further and see if I could get an answer from him.

"Meanboy told me that I'm not allowed to be friends with Emily because I'm not allowed to be friends with girls." *I've been around this boy enough to know that Meanboy is a good name for him.

I admit, I had a strong urge to shake Meanboy.  Really, why does this boy-girl split have to happen so young? Are preschoolers watching when Harry Met Sally? And if so, how do you explain that scene in the cafe? That Sally's food is just really good?

I went into the preschool the next day to tell Bear's teacher that Meanboy had told Bear he wasn't allowed to be friends with Emily any more.

His teacher had a sharp intake of breath and then said, "That's not true."

I paused for a second, in shock.  My Bear is far from perfect.  However, he does not lie; making up things like that is not something that he is able to do. 

But, then I realized she was talking to Bear after she told him that Meanboy shouldn't have said that and that Bear is allowed to be friends with Emily.  And she told me that Meanboy tends to tell people a lot of things that aren't true and tries to boss everyone around.

They had a talk and now Bear and Emily are back to being friends and Bear once again is excited to go to school.

And he's back to asking if he can have a sleepover with Emily. We can't win as parents, can we?

In case you are new around here, my Bear suffers from lead poisoning, which has many effects which cause him to have a difficult time in a school setting.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Sweet little bear! I just love hearing about his stories. It's funny that you have this post about girls and boys. I was just working on one relative to this same topic. I wish kids could be kids and the world didn't place such huge boundaries on them. He looks so happy in that pic!

March 21, 2011 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Oh, silly Meanboy...as Hailey would say, "I no yike you."

It does happen so young though...are you going to let the sleepover happen?

BTW, you're almost to 2000 followers...will you have a party or something? That's insane you blog rockstar!

March 21, 2011 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Lady Estrogen said...

Aweee... silly Meanboy indeed. There is one in every class ;(
My best friend was a boy, from grade 1 - 2 peas in a pod! We still keep in touch.

March 21, 2011 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

Isn't it sad they have to deal with this at such a young age? I am glad your Bear is enjoying school again :)

March 21, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I hate when other adults push their stereotypes on their children who then feed it to others. It sounds like you all handled it well and I'm glad Bear and Emily are friends again.

My sister had a friend in elementary school who was actually our third cousin. They had sleepovers until middle school because they just told people, "we're family" it honestly was no problem! You can tune in tomorrow to see that I've got some work to do with The Girl!

March 21, 2011 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

My best friend from age 5-7 (until we moved) was a boy who lived in my neighborhood.
I hope Meanboy doesn't endanger a wonderful friendship again.

March 21, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanboy sounds like the perfect name for the little brat.

Precious little bear.

March 21, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am so glad this worked out. I loved that he loved school.

March 21, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

I am glad the teacher and you decided to find out what was going on. Everyone deserves a friend.

I find out things my kids are told all the time, and almost always have to correct that information.

I even have a little difficultly with the boys I watch after school. Just last week one was telling Bubby he has girl hair.

Worse thing is, you know most of the young kids get their information from parents/family.

I am forever correcting my kids when they pass judgement on another child.

March 21, 2011 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

Darn that Meanboy! I hate that the separation begins so early. Even Buster (at 3) says he doesn't play with so-and-so because they are a girl. *sigh*

March 21, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

phew...I'm so glad it all worked out...
my boys have a few "girl"friends they've known since they were 2 or so, and we still let them have sleepovers together...our oldest is 6 1/2, and since he thinks that kissing is disgusting and makes barf noises whenever he sees people kissing I think I'm pretty safe still...haha

March 21, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hayden is also a 'ladies' man. He has so many little girl friends but as he has gotten older, he has made some boy friends too. They all play together which is how it should be.

And I feel you pain, I have totally had to handle the, "Mom can she sleep over?" question. :)

March 21, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awwww, little Bear! He sounds like such a cutie and I LOVE that he started a flash mob - that's adorable.

My best friend when I was little was a boy. Our moms were best friends at the time and we did a lot together - swim lessons, playdates, etc. I think it's fine!

March 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Eternal Lizdom said...

I've always had close friends of the opposite sex and my daughter is following in my footsteps. She has a little group of girls she's friends with- and there is a side group of boys that she is friends with. According to her teacher, the boys like to be friends with Teagan because she isn't afraid to play rough and tough- she runs and chases and rolls and all that stuff.

March 21, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

It is so ridiculous that bullies start at such a young age. I am so glad that Bear and Emily are good now. Preschool is too young to deal with the whole boys and girls can't be friends crap. Heck, I much prefer hanging out with boys than girls. I have always been that way, but when I was older I got a lot of crap for it and was called several hurtful names, but whatevs.

Peanut is also friends with all of the boys too, as well as the girls she is just a friendly kid. I just hope she doesn't have to deal with the ridicule when she gets older.

March 21, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger BNM said...

bless his heart! Kids can be cruel. When I was 4 or 5 my best friend was a boy. he lived across the street from me, we had sleepovers all the time haha :)

March 21, 2011 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

I don't know how I missed the thing on lead poisoning...geez, what was the source?

Last year Puck had a girl-friend in preschool. They were very close. The teachers also noticed that Puck was on his best behavior when ever this little lady was around. So his seat was always next to hers...etc. She would even tell him, "That's not a good choice, Puck." of he got out of line, and he obeyed!

His teachers even told me to tell his Kindergarten teacher to seat him with girls!

Aren't we ladies, just amazing???

March 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

I'm so glad Bear & Emily are friends again and that he's happy going to school. My oldest loves being friends with girls as well and I often wonder how he'll be next year in preschool. We'll see!

March 21, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

You know who sucks?


And people who think boys and girls can't be friends.

Because those people are silly.

March 21, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Ah...what a sweet little boy. My boys are non-biased (early on) too. My 4 yo and 2 yo don't care if they are boy or girl...they just want to play. My 7yo is a little less exuberant towards girls. Some try to kiss him...and I think he thinks girl kisses will make him melt! Ha!! Keep it that way, buddy!!!

March 21, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

I am so nervous about my son encountering those "mean boys" next year in kindergarten. We've been so lucky with preschool so far. I really hope I don't wind up in prison.

March 21, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I'm not looking forward to the boy-girl distinction. Things are so easy right now. We can have playdates with the only friends available (girls - everyone else's parents are at work). I'd forgotten about the lead poisoning. I'll have to go back through your archives.

March 21, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Reagan said...

This is tough and gets worse as they age. RIght now at my daughters age (newly 5) she doesn't care about gender and wants her male friend to spend the night. I'm all for it. She has two beds, after all! Of course those days are coming when A. she won't want male friends and B. She WILL want male friends but they won't be able to sleepover. Perhaps there will be an instruction manual on how to handle these situations then!

March 21, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Katie De La said...

That is so sweet! I'm glad your little bear is excited for school again!

March 21, 2011 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I don't understand why kids have to be so mean at such a young age. I'm glad he's friends with Emily again.

March 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Ahhh...I can so relate as my 6 year old has 2 Meanboys in school who told him he couldn't be friends with another boy who was his best friend in class at the time. All because 2 Meanboys were jealous of their friendship (this coming straight from both boys' Mamas mouths). The relationship between my boy and his former BF is not what it used to be, because of all the interference. It still hurts him (and me too) a little to this day

So glad Bear and Emily are friends again. :-))

March 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Theodora Ofosuhima said...

Your boy is the sweetest little thing. How could that Meanboy be so mean, I believe boys can be friends with girls, even in older age.

I hope their friendship never stops because it so precious, so sweet :).

March 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Goodnight moon said...

I don't get why any child has to be mean? And starting at preschool age? Maybe meanboy is jealous because he wants to be friends or likes Emily? Or maybe he's just mean!

I think it's sweet when a boy and girl can be good friends, I don't personally think there is anything wrong from it at all. It's a great teaching tool for them.

March 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Heidi Smith Luedtke -- LeadingMama said...

What a sweet boy you have! My little guy is best friends with several girls in his class. I hope it stays that way. And I hope he doesn't convince them to use their girlie toys as mock weaponry. He is obsessed with guns right now. Ugh.

March 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

I can't stand kids like Meanboy...that's exactly how bullies start out.

Poor Bear...but I'm glad things got worked out and he's back to enjoying school and being friends with "Emily"!

March 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Awww, poor little guy and poor you, it is so tough for them to learn to navigate the social world.

Glad that he and Emily are back to being friends and wish I had some advice on the sleepover question!

March 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I used to have girl/boy sleepovers when I was little!

I'm glad he and Emily are friends again. :]

March 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I'm glad the teacher said something to Bear about what Meanboy said. My daughter was best friends with a boy in Kindergarten and then the next year she stopped playing with him. I think it had something to do with being boy/girl friends and other kids in school.

March 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Bear and little Emily are friends again! What an adorable picture- even with the heart on her face!

March 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

It's so nice to hear about boys and girls being friends at this age. Sets them both up for healthier relationships when they get older!

March 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Awe! Really?! I mean the bulling really starts that early?! What about daycare? Give Bear a big hug for me! He's such a cutie!

March 21, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Boys and girls can totally be friends! I'm so sad that Meanboys exist in preschool too, but I'm glad that everything worked out in the end.

*No sleepovers, though* : )

March 21, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

My daughter had a really good boy friend in the preschool years. Now she much prefers the company of other girls. She can't stand the thought of playing with an action figure! I think it's interesting to watch them in the different stages.

March 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

Awwww, I'm glad it was just a temporary setback in his friendship. And I have no doubt that Emily had a big smile in that pic!

March 21, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger mdforkids said...

Oh, I'm so glad your Bear and Emily are back to being friends! My son who is in K has a really good girl friend and I hope they are friends for a long time and they don't let their sex difference get in the way :)

And, why is it there is always a "Meanboy" to contend with? Ugh.

Shell, I had no idea your son has lead poisoning. If you don't mind me asking, how was it discovered and what kind of treatment has he undergone. I'm curious from my ped. point of view.

March 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Oh, that broke my heart, too. I'm so glad that everybody was able to get it resolved so he is happy to be back at school with his bestie!

March 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

I'm so glad you guys were able to get that resolved! I think boys and girls can absolutely be friends! Why on Earth not? They are only in preschool. There will be plenty of time for awkward teenage angst when they get older.

March 21, 2011 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Macey said...

I just have to wonder wear Meanboy learned that. Or heard that.
Because we have NEVER done that to our boys, and they are a little bit sheltered, I think, so they are absolutely fine being friends with girls. I've never heard even my 7 year old say anything about not playing with a girl because she's a girl. WEIRD.

March 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Ilana @ mommyshorts said...

It's amazing that male/female friendships are confusing even then. I hope Bear is happier now that Emily is back in his life. I don't know rules for the sleepover though!

March 21, 2011 at 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Ameena said...

Your little one is adorable...and there seems to be a "Meanboy" in every school in every city in every state, doesn't there?

I must say I am curious as to how you answer the sleepover question? I usually just gloss it over but I know I'm going to have to come up with something soon. :)

March 21, 2011 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

boy/girl sleepovers are something that I have no clue how I'd handle. lol

But I'm glad that he's enjoying school and has found a good friend. :)

March 21, 2011 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's amazing what they deal with at such a young age, isn't it? I'm glad he gets to have his sweet friend back!

Oh, and I like that the teacher responded that way! :)

March 21, 2011 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah for Emily! Who cares what gender a friend is, as long as they care for each other? Glad Bear is back up to going to school. And no worries about the sleepover - we had a few of those with our oldest & her best guy friend when they were little.

March 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I see no problem with boy/girl friendships and any relationship that is this positive should definitely be encouraged.

It makes me so mad when one mean, bossy kid tries to ruin it for the other kids. Probably because he isn't happy himself.

March 21, 2011 at 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Kids are mean. It sucks, but it is sadly true. Fortunately there are more nice kids than mean so things kind of balance out.

March 21, 2011 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

There's just nothin' like young love and I'm so sad that little Bear got his heart all twisted up by Meanboy's attitude.

I'm thrilled your little dude is back on track.

God bless and have a beautiful Spring day sweetie!!! :o)

March 21, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

That has got to be the most precious picture I've ever seen. Look at that smile on him!

I don't remember when the boy/girl split happened. But I developed my first crush when I was 5 so...probably around then. ;)

March 21, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Katina said...

I think it is sweet and way too early for the boy-girl thing to come into play! Meanboy has some stuff going on at home! I have girls and boy are they bossy! My oldest daughter befriended a little boy last year named Kendell. Other kids picked on Kendall because he is different but my Aryonna, took up for him and kept him straight! At the end of the school year, Kendall's mom bought Aryonna a gift and had tears in her eyes about their friend ship! Meanboy is so NOT the boss of Bear!

March 22, 2011 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger shortmama said...

Kids sure start early with that crap dont they? I hope Meanboy knocks off the nonsense so sweet Bear can have a good time at school!

March 22, 2011 at 12:54 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Oh Bears smile is beyond adorable! He is such a cutie!

The question is not why does the boy-girl thing have to start so young, but why are there meanboys so young?

Sorry that happened.

March 22, 2011 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Cyndy Bush said...

That's just said that all that starts so young. I'm sorry Bear is going through that, and I hope meanboy leaves him alone!

March 22, 2011 at 1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a list of things one of ours couldn't do at MDO, like show a girl the cool cars on your underwear or tell a boy he plays with Barbie Dolls! LOL

There's always a boy who tries to control who can play with whom. It's an alpha-dog thing. It isn't that "it starts young" - it is that even children need to learn how to handle conflict and people who over-step boundaries. Some of it is normal and healthy - sadly, some isn't and needs intervention. Glad your son has his friend back!

March 22, 2011 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger John said...

It probably doesn't come as a surprise to anybody who knows me, but I was always closer friends to girls than to boys as I grew up.

I think I remember having a "3 hugs per day" limit between me & Anilese in preschool.

And I L-O-V-E the "that's what I thought her name was" bit :-)

March 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

This was cute- and then a little sad- and then cute again. I'm glad he's found a little friend at his school, and it doesn't matter that she's a girl. Someone should push that meanboy in the mud- just kidding- I know that's not the answer :)

March 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh phew. I thought she was saying that about Bear! Hope he's back to being her friend.

March 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger For the Love of Naps - Sarah said...

Charley has grown up surrounded by such good friends and most of them have been girls. He is just now starting to gravitate towards the boys. I think gender shouldn't be an issue and I am so glad the teacher dealt with it in a way that leaves Bear open to all the friends he can collect these days!

March 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Jayme said...

I'm so glad he's ok about being friends with a girl now, despite meanboy. When one of my big guys went though something similar I remember telling them how Aaron was my best friend, so it was ok for boys and girls to be friends and that worked at our house :)

March 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Heather H said...

I love that Bear and Emily are such good friends and I hope they maintain their friendship all their lives!

I want my daughter to know that she can be friends with whoever she wants to be friends with, so whenever I ask about her day, I always ask about her friends and throw in a few questions about the boys (calling them by name). So far, she plays with certain girls at school the most but lots of the boys want to hug her when we come in or before we leave. I don't ever want her to think that gender dictates who you should be friends with. And we set up playdates with boys as well as girls. (and yes, she asks if the boys can spend the night and they ask if she can)

March 22, 2011 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Oh! Meanboy truly is mean!

I'm glad that Bear is back to being friends with Emily. How sweet they must be together!

March 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Absolutely disarminingly charming little boy.

how could she resist??

March 22, 2011 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

My heart broke when I read they couldn't be friends anymore :( Look at his sweet little face in the picture with Emily!! So glad they resolved this and they're back to being friends once more (bad Meanboy!).

March 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM  

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