Playdates and Girls

A playdate for 6-year-old girls is much easier to organize than one for 12-year-olds. The 12yo playdate has to have an ironclad structure and organization. An adult needs to supervise every minute and fill it with pre-planned activities. Because if you let the girls fend for themselves, they’ll form cliques and start excluding somebody. That’s all that girls at this age want to do. Form cliques and exclude. I literally did nothing else between the ages of 11-13.

It’s normal and healthy but can ruin any playdate.

Six-year-olds are very low-maintenance in comparison. I released them into the wild, and they’ve been perfectly fine. No fights, no tears, no unpleasantness.

7 thoughts on “Playdates and Girls

    1. There is truth in this, I think. I spent grades 5, 6, and 7 at a tiny parochial school where there were 12 kids in the combined 7-8th grade class. Not enough girls to be cliquish: even the (2!) girls who would have been queen bees in a larger school, behaved decently to everybody. Every one of those students that I kept in touch with as an adult remembers that school as some sort of idyllic educational wonderland, in spite of it being middle school, and in spite of us having almost nothing in common but our classroom and the astonishing shenanigans everybody got up to.

      Through weird administrative circumstances involving the church that ran the school, I ended up spending the last 6 weeks or so of 7th grade at the public middle school. The culture shock was mindblowing. It was simply not possible to have friends– or even civil acquaintances– at school, unless the relationship was grouped around shared activities, shared schedules, or significantly overlapping interests/style/neighborhoods, and coming in at the end of the year– forget it. It was like fortified camps. Couldn’t get near any of them without alerting the sentries and the guard dogs.

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      1. I talked to a young guy from our town who graduated from our large public school and this is exactly what he describes. There’s hardcore grouping around shared activities. It made me realize why young people are so obsessed with identity groupings. I don’t think it’s good because your understanding of the world becomes very limited when you always hang out only with fellow dancers or fellow athletes or fellow choir singers. Honestly, I’d go nuts if I had to hang out only with other professors or other literary critics. I have a lot more facets to my personality than that.

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        1. Yeah, I think we all benefitted hugely in the tiny middle school, from knowing each other and also from our shared misadventures. Off the top of my head, that 7-8 class had 3 nerdy misfits (me and two guys who were into D&D), 2 skateboarders, 3 fashion-obsessed girls: 2 from wealthy families and 1 from the projects (the school was very generous with scholarships), 1 redneck dude, 1 short guy with doctor parents, 1 of those white girls who dress in stereotypically black fashions, and…? who all would have belonged to different mutually-exclusive social tribes in a big school.

          Together, we threw flaming paper airplanes out the second-floor windows, competed to see who could climb highest on the flagpole, slid down the banisters (until one kid’s super-slick nylon shorts sent him flying off the end, and he put a tooth through his lip– we were banned after that), sneaked into the church’s rec room next door and used their pool table, let a ferret run loose in the classroom, admired the snake that Mr. Redneck brought to school in a pillowcase (our teacher let him keep it on his arm, at his desk, until it bit him), staged a fight in front of the school office with fake blood, stuffed doctor’s kid into a locker at his own request just to see if it could be done (everyone had seen this stunt in movies and we were curious), etc. It was a good year, is what I’m saying. And so radically unlike any other school I went to, public or private… the class size is the only thing I can think of to account for it.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes I’ve really enjoyed this age (7) with my daughter and her friends.

    It is very refreshing to be able not to supervise very much with friends or when we go to the park. They do their own thing and even if they argue they’ve been able to figure out how to resolve issues on their own. The flip side is this leaves me to have to interact more with parents and I don’t exactly enjoy that.

    Liked by 1 person

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