Children don’t worry about being popular, they just think about having fun and not getting caught when they know they are doing something forbidden.
Being popular seems to become the focus when children become pre-teens. Suddenly they all want to have thousands of best friends. They begin to dress the same as their friends, pursue the same objectives, use the same phrases when speaking…………..and roll their eyes at authority figures.
The teen years see the popularity race “get serious”.
My granddaughter has hit the “popularity” point. My once polite, once playful and carefree girl has become a diva. She still loves her “grandma Suze, still tells me her joys, her frustrations, even some of her secrets.
But her focus has changed and I really don’t think it is necessarily for the better.
She worries about what her peers think..is her dress “right”, does she have enough makeup on..not too much but the just right amount.
Suddenly the days of playing with makeup and nail polish are gone and instead the oh so serious “just right” days have sprung up.
Last night I realized that her popularity was a good thing.
She went to her first semi-formal dance last night…Homecoming. Her hair was done in multiple and ornate braids, little glittering fake jewels threaded through the braids.
She looked beautiful. She had come over to get ready for the dance and dressed here. After she was done she packed up her makeup, then said, “I have to go to J’s house and help her get ready. Can you give me a ride?” I asked, “isn’t J’s mom helping her?” And my lovely popular child said “she doesn’t have any makeup or even a dress. I am taking a bunch of mine over so she can pick one. ”
And I thought “that’s WHY she is popular, whether she knows it or not”.