Thursday, April 29, 2010

Boys are from Mars, Girls are from Venus?

A few days ago at playgroup, the other mums and I were struck by the apparent gender differences emerging in our 3 year old offspring. It's not quite a valid psychological study, but it did seem to hold with what I'd expect in, say, 10 year old children.

Scene: two boys, Big Bro and Boy2 have been playing together putting "petrol" chalk in their tricycles. Three girls are busy playing amongst themselves. Girl1 approaches the mums.
Girl1: Girl2 says she doesn't want to be my best friend.
Mum: Um, maybe you could tell her that it hurts your feelings to be told that?
Girl 1 runs off to convey this message. Big Bro and Boy2 simulate trike crashes. Girl1 returns.
Girl1: she still doesn't want to be my best friend
Girl3: Don't worry, I'll tell her your feelings are hurt.
Girl3 races off and with exaggerated arm gestures, conveys the message to Girl 2.
Big Bro and Boy2 start running between one side of the yard and the other.
Girl 1 (to Girl 2): well, I don't want you to be my best friend. Girl3, you can be my best friend.
Mums suppress giggles, missing the next development, but suddenly all three girls embrace, and continue playing. Big Bro and Boy2 return to put more petrol in their cars.

I was stunned to see the social volatility in the girls' clique- it reminded me of years of "who-is-whose-friend?" angst in primary school, and surprised me how early it starts.

This post was rewound at the Fibro.


Vanessa said...

We have recently moved to the Central Coast and have a daughter and a son - mydaughter is definately finding it harder to fit in.... so very true ! Love your blog - Vanessa

_vTg_ said...

Thanks! Nice to meet you :)
I don't really know much about boy social circles other than what I see for Big Bro, but I do certainly remember much of girls' social interactions for ages (perhaps to adulthood) revolved around "fitting in". I've never done psychology, but I find I spend a lot of time pondering child socialisation!! Hopefully more than Big Bro does!

allison tait said...

Oh man - Mr7 is going through all that with his girl mates at school. Day one of Grade Two and it's all 'you're not my friend' blah blah blah. But I've seen it with the girls from preschool up. Mr7 doesn't buy into it. He told me that he told them to get back to him when they'd sorted it out. That works for me.

Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro! :-)

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