boy/girl friendships

I notice that my grandchildren, as they progress through elementary school, have more trouble maintaining friendships with boy children if girls, girl children if boys. My daughter mentioned that her daughter now refers to “the boys” instead of referring to them by name.

I remember that this very daughter when she was in elementary school battled bravely to be able to play with boys as well as girls. It was a battle with many defeats but some victories. She did manage to have a few friends who were boys.

Here’s a story I just heard about a teacher who managed to help two children in his class, one a very frilly little girl, the other a rough and tumble little boy. The teacher made the decision that the children of course wanted to be friends. He got close to the two and suggested they play. Then he respectfully listened to their objections. He continued to suggest that they could find something they’d both enjoy doing. And they did finally come up with something.

I think that’s a good example of an adult respectfully helping children through the some of the harsh restrictions that our society puts on young people at a very young age.

What do you think?

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