A couple of weeks ago, Steve and I went to Back to School Night at the middle school. Following Jonah's schedule, we went to his first period class where a teacher wagged her finger at us about homework and lateness policies for about ten minutes, then the bell rang, and we went to the another class where we heard another talk about homework and lateness policy.
We spilled out into the hallway and tried to decipher Jonah's handwriting to figure out where the next class was. In the hallway, we saw the same parents over and over. Some said "hi" awkwardly for the tenth time. Others ignored us, but did loud screeching greetings with air kisses to fellow football kid parents. I actually go out of my way to talk to the parents who are trying to ignore me. It's lovely to not be in middle school anymore.
Back to school night was very useful, because it gave me enough information to ask Jonah better questions. I know who's in his art class and I can ask him who talks to. He'll tell me who is nice and who isn't. For the most part, the nice kids have nice parents, and the kids who won't talk to him have parents who won't talk to us.
The New York Times talks about the increase of meanness among younger girls and the causes. Hyper-competitive parents are to blame.
“The girls who are the victims tend to be raised by parents who encourage them to be more age appropriate,” Ms. Rosenman said. “The mean girls are 8 but want to be 14, and their parents play along. They all want to be top dog.” And so the nastiness begins.