I have noticed this fighting phenomenon with boys. They are always picking fights and their first reaction to someone who has said or done something they didn’t like is to shove them. Working with kids, I have to break up these little squirmishes all the time. The fights, however, do not damage the boys’ relationship. One boy might get mad at another and push or hit him, but no matter how upset the boys are at the time (sometimes everyone starts crying), they will soon go back to playing together. When I say soon, I mean it might be seconds and no longer than a couple of minutes. Girls, on the other hand, only fight if they are mad enough to stay mad.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Deborah Tannen writes about how boys "fight for friendship." Annelise, a student in my family class, applying this insight to the young children she works with at a preschool, has come up with a wonderful word for these solidarity-making fights. An excerpt from her journal: