Monday, February 6, 2012

A little puppy that follows

Alex went to babysit yesterday and then from there went to a sleepover. When she came home, she went straight to bed and didn't get up until almost 2pm. (I was kind of jealous of all that sleep.) At the time I was out, but Josh was home and Alex told him that at her sleepover they called her a follower.

She is totally a follower. We've called her a puppy to her face countless times. It's never bothered her. But this time, from these girls, it did. Apparently Alex cried when she was telling Josh about it which kind of explains why they were so weird when I got home.

After dinner she went to lay in my bed and we were talking about it, and Al was like "I don't even know if they're still my friends anymore!" Dani made her laugh by suggesting we'd tell her whether they were or not and she would just do whatever we said. When the Superbowl was over and Josh was able to talk again he said I should probably do something to make Alex more independent. Oh, okay I'll just get right on that, thanks for the tip.


Just Me said...

It takes a huge amount of self-confidence to stand up for your own opinion, and quite a bit of intelligence to even think through things well enough to form your own opinion, apart from what everyone around you is saying. At that age, it's tough to make your own opinions and stand apart from the group. If Alex doesn't want to just be a follower, then she needs to take those risks. You can't "make" her more independent, but you can question her in ways that might cause her to think through her own opinions, explain them, and get practice standing up for her own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

At that age, girls will say just about anything to make themselves feel better and some other girl worse. While I think it can be useful for Alex to consider ways she might exert some more independence (from you and from the 'pack' at school), it would probably make her feel a little better if she questioned the girls' motives, the ones who were calling her a follower in the first place.

Sounds to me like a bunch of girls saying things to hurt someone else's feelings. If that's not "following", I don't know what is.

Tell her: It gets better.

Nina said...

I agree. I think it's pretty rare for girls at that age to NOT be followers. It also could have something to do with the fact that she is the youngest and the "baby" in the family, but in general I think it's very "age-appropriate" to have a hard time asserting yourself at that age.

Maybe you two can brainstorm "safe" ways for her to assert her independence. That kind of sounds like an oxymoron, but it might be a way for her to wade out into deeper waters eventually. So, maybe there's some small way she could assert herself around her group of girlfriends, some way she could mark herself as different. And then maybe there is some way that she could be allowed a little bit larger measure of independence and even leadership at home. Of course, with great freedom comes great responsibility yada yada yada.

Poor thing though. Sorry she cried. :(