Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Kids and their friends

Having had a bunch (not sure of the correct collective noun) of birthday parties lately, I have been more aware than ever of the differences in my children.

When Cate first started school she took a while to establish friendships. She became close friends with a girl who used English as a second language and was the youngest in the class (Cate was a whole year older than her). We felt this friendship was perfect for her. She wasn't a strong person and didn't find it easy to make friends and I guess this other girl felt the same.

Unfortunately, after two years as best friends, this little girl changed schools. Last year it broke my heart to watch her go to school everyday without a friend for support. It took her until the second half of last year to fit into the class dynamic and settle. Not once did she get upset about it. She missed her friend but she never not wanted to go to school and was not upset by having no friends.

Rose on the other hand is completely unaware of her effect on other people. She has a fantastic class at school. The whole class are terribly close and I am not aware of any bullying or disputes. They play with everyone and are very affectionate towards each other.

I was completely shocked, when at 5 years old, she had a boyfriend! They would hold hands and hug each other and seemed to be boyfriend and girlfriend for nearly a year before she decided she liked somebody else. She was not embarrassed about it and was open to anybody who asked her if she had a boyfriend and still talks openly about her boy-friendships. Cate would be completely mortified if somebody even suggested that she had a boyfriend!

Rose gets invited to a number of parties throughout the year - both boys parties and girls. She gets gifts from admirers and is liked by all of her peers. Cate, has been to two parties this year and from memory, last year was the same.

I think it has a lot to do with the students. Rose's teacher who was Cate's teacher last year has commented on the differences in the children in each class. I often think that Rose, who is completely at ease and confident with herself would have coped easily in a class like Cate's and I would have had a few less sleepless nights if Cate had such welcoming peers!

I feel confident in knowing that they are both very well adjusted children. Rose is an angel in class and is very happy at school. She is extremely talented at maths and anything physical. Dean and I are often shocked by her ability to figure out maths equations in her head that are far more challenging than some of Cate's homework. I am very proud of how well she is doing. She is a wonderful friend and I'm sure she will be a friend for life. Cate, who I feared would not cope with the loss of her friend, has proved to be a very mature and strong person. She is such and angel and gets perfect grades and has finally found her place in the playground and established some great friendships but there are some days where she still seems lost.

This year with Josephine starting school, I look forward to watching her friendships grow and see who she will become close to. She is in a class with a lot of siblings from Cate and Rose's classes, so play dates will be easy as I already know the mums. I don't have any fears for her. She is a very social girl, has an amazing sense of humour and like Rose, is very confident. She also tells it like it is, so watch out Kindy!

I love my girls so much and it breaks my heart thinking about them getting hurt and not happy, but I am lucky that they feel confident and secure and ride things through with grace and such a positive attitude. I am very proud of them.

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