May 9, 2005

Queen Bees in preschool

Recent research shows cliques and terrible junior and senior high behavior stats in preschool for many little girls. The Queen Bee syndrome is starting younger and younger as this research shows:

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah: "The preschool Queen Bees were well-liked and socially skilled but also tended to be more arrogant and aggressive in managing relationships.
They would exclude specific classmates from play groups, demand others not play with a specific child, threaten to not play if their needs or demands weren't met and refuse to listen to someone they were mad at. The little Queen Bees were also masters at spreading gossip and telling secrets.
This mix of positive and negative social behavior allows these girls to maintain their social standing, the researchers said - a somewhat disturbing finding.
'By the age of 4 a substantial number of children have apparently figured out from their environment that relational aggressive strategies can be used to their advantage and are rewarded with social status,' co-author Robinson said in a press release. "

Sadly in our own lives we have already experienced some of this as Rhiannon has dealt with several of these "Queen Bees" in her Sunday school class of all places. At first as a parent you don't want to believe it, you don't want to think little kids can be like this but then you realize they are and you need to be proactive as parents and help your child. Why we keep thinking kids need to know how to handle this and be "socialized" at an early age is beyond me.

Perhaps the reason this behavior is showing itself younger and younger is the increase in daycare, preschool and many other environments where parents are not directly involved with their children and can help them manage their social relationships in positive ways. I am not knocking all preschool and daycare for some I know in some cases they are necessary but I am saying as parents you need to be involved in your child's life and help them deal with kids like this who do truly exist even as young as 4! Of course the more you are with your kids the more you are able to help guide them through this relationships when they are faced with them.

Go hug your kid,


  1. We don't have Queen Bees so much at church as friends who were there before we moved in. There are 3 of them now, and only 2 of them can be friends at any given time. If Sadie _or_ Rachel are with my Moira, then they're friends. But if Sadie _and_ Rachel are with Moi, then they aren't friends with Moi, but just each other. All the moms have talked about it -- in fact on of the moms is our children's minister -- and we can't figure it out. The myster of 3!!!

    We do have a Queen Bee across the street, though. She played just fine with our girls before she started kindergarten. Now, she says things like "I wish you were dead" and "Go away, bootie-butt!" (I personally think bootie-butt is cute, but when said with a mean voice, it's the cut of death!) My girls are just so used to loving whomever they're with, they can't figure out why someone would treat them that way. I have to watch dd5, though, she will pick up that kind of stuff. I think if she had gone to preschool, she'd be the Queen of the queens. (see the dolly picture on my blog and I think you'll know what I mean).

  2. This is interesting to me. I have seen more of this type of behavior in my oldest dd's Sunday school class. Just another reason to homeschool IMO.

  3. Tenn,

    I had to comment on this as I just returned from the end of year (yeah) meeting with dd5 preschool teacher, and unfortunately I have a daughter who if left in the school environment would almost definitly become one of these Queen Bees.

    She does have a very outgoing personality with some inherent leadership abilities (where she got it I have no clue). And since she has started at this school we have had to deal with bossiness and even some exclusion of others with her. I am so glad that we are homeschooling because I am praying that as she matures that God will work through us and her to build her natural leanings into strengths and not liabilities or negatives.

    Amy in Apex

  4. As parents we are able to help shape our children. Every so often we do the exercise of listing all the "negative" traits and behaviors of our children and then in a column next to it writing all the positive/good adult charachter traits that correspond to it. Then we recommit as parents to helping shape those behaviors and training our children to move those challenging traits and behaviors into those positive adult charachteristics (over the course of their lives not in one day).

    God blesses each of us, children too, with certain gifts and strengths and we are to work with them not against them. Often our biggest strengths can become our worst weaknesses. As parents, and especially as home educators we are in a unique position to help our children develop their strengths in positive ways.

    We have seen some similar things start to pop up even within our small group of friends, the difference is when you can see it you can help shape it and help the kids learn how to handle it better. A teacher who already has to deal with teaching, babysitting and disciplining 20 some kids can only accomplish and pay attention to so much no matter how much they may try. As parents we can help our children recognize and redirect their behavior.

    Amy, it sounds like that is exactly what you are doing with your daughter. We all have our areas of challenge what matters is what we do about it. Our kids have wonderful traits and the good outweight the bad, seeing the potential for bad and teaching them about it and helping them control those possible negatives are the best things we as parents can do.

    Home educating offers us the opportunity to help train our children in a wide variety of areas and to help them when they need help. WE see their interactions and we can help them grow stronger in positive ways.