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I’ve really been think lately that our kids are growing up too fast. I picked my son up from school today and asked him about his day just like I always do. He gave me the basic answer like he always does, “good.” I always try to ask more questions. Who he played with, what games they played, if he made good choices, etc.
We then talked about who he plays with the most. To be honest, I’m really just interested in how my son interacts. I don’t see much of his interactions with kids his age. As a teacher, I know good and well kids can have two different personalities- one at home and one at school.
After asking this last question, I suddenly felt like I was back in high school listening to the latest gossip. He proceeded to tell me that he wants to play with Tyler, but can’t because Tyler is JJs best friend and JJ said that Tyler can’t play with anyone else. So Tyler and JJ play together, but sometimes Kyle plays with them also. Apparently, Kyle wants to be best friends with JJ but he can’t be because JJ already has a best friend.
At this point, I was so lost that I was having to play catch up. I kept getting names wrong and my son respectfully corrected me numerous times. My son shared that he has a best friend, but that sometimes he likes to play with anyone, or by himself.
Now, as adorable as this all was, I came out of all of this realizing two things. 1. I probably don’t want my kid playing with JJ and 2. How in the world do these three year olds have so much knowledge of drama? Is it appropriate for a three year old to have one and only one best friend?
Are Our Kids Growing Up Too Fast?
I honestly feel we are forcing our kids to grow up too quickly. The only thing a three year old needs to worry about is whether or not their pants are up and their shoes are on. Is it really necessary to teach our kids to have best friends or girlfriends or boyfriends so young? They have their entire life to worry about fitting in and dealing with silly friend situations.
I would like to, instead, teach my child to play with everyone and be kind to everyone. At this age, my son doesn’t need to have a best friend. Maybe he needs to be a best friend to everyone. If we teach these things to our kids at a young age, they might grow up being the one that stands up for a friend being bullied, or talks to the lonely kid at lunch no one talks to. It’s a great lesson to teach and learn.
Perhaps I’m old fashioned. Maybe this is how three year old kids should be. However, I’d really like to keep as much innocence in my child as I can. He has a lifetime of drama, gossip, heart break, disappointment, and revelations. At this age, I just want him to run around without a care in the world.
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