Popularity has recently become a topic in our family.
It started with this conversation:
Me: “Who is “G” friends with at school?”
N: “The popular girls.”
Me: “You have popular girls in 3rd grade?”
Me: “Who are they?”
N: She says their names which I know exactly who she is going to say from volunteering.
Me: “What makes them popular?”
N: “They wear fancy clothes and fancy jewelry. They have fancy hair styles.”
Me: “Because of the way they look, kids think they are popular.”
N: “Yes and because at recess they just stand in a circle and talk.”
Me: “Do you wish you dressed like them?”
N: “No way!” (you go girl)
Me: “What do they talk about?”
N: “Boring stuff. Who would want to just stand around and talk when you can run and play at recess?!” (love it)
Me: “I think being popular means being well liked because you are kind, caring and fun.”
N: “Mom, that is why I AM popular with my friends.” (said in a duh like tone)
Me: “Novalie, you have it exactly right.”
And so it begins. Fitting in, popularity, wearing the right clothes. I hope Novalie will always stay true to herself. I hope that it is not with the popular crowd. There is so much pressure to remain popular and live down to standards that I don’t like or agree with. (from my observations of popular cliques….if your child is popular and fabulous, I am not talking about them.) I also know that fitting in is so important to children. I don’t want Novalie to be bullied because of clothing or have the popular girls stand in a circle laughing and looking right at her to make her feel like she is not good enough. I know I can’t stop it from happening, I just wish it didn’t happen. My hope for her is that she continues to be the confident girl she is. I hope she will always feel popular in her circle of friends because she is being a good friend to them. I hope she never conforms to a group because she wants to fit in even though I know it is in the top 3 things that girls care about. I hope she finds her group, stays true to herself and that they all love each other for being themselves. Is that too much to hope for? I don’t think so, but time will tell. I know there will always be the “groups” in school. They have been there forever and will forever continue. The popular group, the nerds, the jocks, ect. Is it too much to ask for them to all accept their differences and be kind to one another? I know it is because of parents who have not taught their children respect and kindness from day one. I know it is because of peer pressure. But, dang it! I just want everyone to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Sigh.
With this whole new awareness of popularity, a little more of Novalie’s innocence is lost.
And that makes me sad.
Stand strong Novalie and continue the good fight my confident, sassy, yoga pant wearing daughter. You will always be the most popular person to me.