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July 30, 2008

When Age Trumps Everything

Kids_ageHuman nature tells us we all have our place in this world.There are those of us who were band geeks in school and those who were the popular kids (not me!) There are those who are always good in math or science and those who will always cower in the spotlight of the stage.

But when you're three, four or five, your place in the world is established by one thing: your age! It's a battle between who is four, four and a half and almost five.

I love to listen to my kids decide who gets to be first on the slide or who is deemed "it" for tag.

Kid #1: I'm four but will be four and a half in one month.
Kid #2. Well. I'm five already. How old are you?
Kid #3. I just turned four, but my brother is six. 

Done!

Everyone's place is now established in the hierarchy for this one situation. It's as if the oldest child puffs up his chest to claim the title of chief preschooler. And then they play--often very civilized with the unspoken rules in place of who is allowed to make the final call. You always need a leader and until they're old enough to take a vote or see people's strengths in certain areas, age trumps everything. And at this age, you just have to wait your turn as the dynamics constantly shift and your playmates change. It's not about being a different age, it's about the luck of the draw for your current playground encounter. One day you rule the roost and the next you're last in line for the slide.

Original post to DC Metro Moms blog.

Linda writes about her two kids and their crazy adventures at Monkey Business

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