So this morning our Prep classroom resembled more of a day care centre rather than a few teachers in at work before the kids come back! A couple of us had brought along our own children to enjoy 'school' or 'where mummy works'....though us mummies don't seem to get anywhere near as much done with our little helpers!
But...this led me to thinking....just when do we start to become judgemental and not get along with everyone? I guess that is always a benefit of teaching a Prep class - usually all of the kids in your class are happy to work with anyone, line up or hold hands with anyone - basically, everyone in your class is your friend. When I was talking to M (my daughter) about coming in to school, I was explaining that there would be two other children to play with, S & H. When we walked in, introductions completed, H, S & M played happily together for a couple of hours, best of friends. They'd never met before, but had no problem inviting each other to play a game together or help each other. In adult world, they'd walked in to a party, their parent/friend/partner had introduced them to someone they had never met before and left them to talk and get along for the rest of the night. I don't know about anyone else, but this has me shuddering! I would hate if someone did that to me, though we expect that of our children, and they have no problem with it. I have watched over the holidays at M playing with others at the pool or playground and she always manages to find a new 'friend' anywhere we go - certainly not something that happens in the adult world, we tend to stick with what is 'safe'.
So....just when do we become judgemental and afraid to talk to, or get left with, what are ultimately 'strangers'? I'm guessing it happens somewhere between Grade 1 and 3....but how does it happen? We don't teach our kids to judge others and be critical of who they talk or play with - so how does it happen? Do we wake up one day and suddenly decide we will only play with people that fit our ideals?
I look forward to hearing what people think!