A guest post by Marci Jefferson*
Piggy Saves the Day
Maybe it’s because I’m an Air Force Brat and moved around a lot, but sometimes I had no one to play with at recess. There were times I resorted to just swinging by myself or chasing boys because I couldn’t break into any of the girl circles.
Well my first grade daughter has had that problem this year, saying girls just don’t want to play with her at recess. They play with their toys and ignore her. What has she been doing instead? Chasing boys. But when she broke into tears talking about it one day, I remembered what it was like and knew I had to investigate. Turns out, her teachers say she’s first picked in gym. All the girls in her class want to be her reading partner.
So what was the problem? Something she’d mentioned struck me. Toys. She’d asked to take a doll to school with her early in the year. “No way!” I’d replied. “You can’t play with it during class, and you should be running around at recess.”
Feeling guilty, I decided to try an experiment. She picked one toy to take to school. She chose a pink pig hand puppet we’d gotten from the Target dollar bin. She went to school with hope in her eyes. And came home that afternoon beaming. “Piggy saved the day!” she said. Problem solved! She’s been playing with the girls ever since. I guess she just needed that prop, that ice breaker. Navigating first grade social circles can be tough on a girl, and this mommy has never been so thankful for a cheap toy in all her life!
* Marci Jefferson is the author of THE DUCHESS OF RICHMOND (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014) and also a good friend of mine. I’m hosting her blog entries for the next few Mondays until her website is rolling!