I'm listening to my kids talk on the porch with their friends. It's so interesting to hear them telling and re-telling recent events, and getting their take on it. They are especially interesting to hear on who among them they consider popular. How do kids figure this out? They all do. But it's fascinating to see/hear how they talk about each other TO each other. They're so much more honest and up front about things. They were talking about where they ranked, but were very matter of fact about it.
They also talked, or perhaps the better word is, gossiped, about this one little boy who is, unfortunately for his sake, the neighborhood pariah. He has terrible impulse control, anger issues, and poor social skills, all encompassed in a huge mask of bravado to conceal his massive insecurities. Your heart breaks for him.
The thing is, he's come a long way, socially speaking. He doesn't randomly walk into our houses any more, nor scream through the mail slot "IS ANYBODY HOME?" over and over.
He seems like he's growing up, and maturation is always a good thing. But yesterday he hit one of the neighbor boys with a baseball bat. So we're not there yet.
Social stratification starts young. Layers of power and status begin in early youth. It really is amazing.
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