Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
It all seems so innocent, doesn’t it? The little kids in preschool, holding hands and insisting that someone is their “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” I’ll admit it, as someone who has worked in a lot of different preschools, I used to think it was cute. As caretakers, we would all laugh and smile, thrilled that at least some of the children were holding hands instead of punching each other.
Now, I have a child of my own, and I don’t think it’s cute. And I’m not saying little kids can’t hold hands, because that is cute. I have a problem with the label that is attached if Hallie happens to be holding hands with a boy.
Hallie isn’t even two, and other parents are suggesting that she is “in love” with some other toddler, who just happens to be a boy. There are several problems with this assumption.
- You’re assuming that my daughter, who is one, needs someone in her life. As if she is not a complete person all on her own, and that her entire goal should be to find a partner. There is zero need to sexualize and “ship” toddlers, especially girls. Are you telling that little boy to go get a girlfriend? No. And if you are? Ew. Get a life.
- You’re assuming that my daughter identifies as straight and female. I’ve already scared off one mom by insisting that Hallie could be as equally interested in the girls as the boys, and “you just never know.” This was out of earshot of children, and the mom did not find it funny.
- You’re assuming that my daughter gives two shits about gender and whether or not it’s important to “like” or “be liked.” You’re assuming that relationships are more important than building friendships and being kind to one another.
Seriously, we really need to stop emphasizing the importance of relationships to children who can’t wipe their own butts. Nothing is more important than building self-esteem and encouraging our children to be decent human beings. I honestly couldn’t care less if Hallie came home and decided that she was trans, or that she was poly-amorous, or that she wanted to be a freaking dinosaur. If she’s a good person, who she “likes” isn’t important.
And if someone doesn’t like her, they can go screw themselves, because Hallie is awesome. Your child doesn’t have to be liked by everyone, and your child won’t be liked by everyone. It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a reality that kids will learn early whether we say it or not. Do you like everyone you work with? Nope. Do you want to date everyone you work with? Probably not. So, please, don’t try to tell my daughter that she is “fighting” over a boy with another girl. You’re creating drama where there is none, and you’re setting these babies up to believe that they should be concerned about something that doesn’t matter. Watch the bachelor if you’re so desperate to form relationships and leave the toddlers alone.