My Daughter Self-Identifies As ‘Not Popular’ And I’m Very Comfortable With That

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not popularAll this time I’ve been looking out for inappropriate words in books, movies and television shows that had to do with sex, when in front of me all this time is the most awful word in the human language. That word, as you will find out as parents, is not “penis” or “sex” or even “sperm,” but the word “popular.”

My daughter is not popular. I know this because she told me she wasn’t. I found this fascinating, having this conversation with my 9-year-old, so I asked, “How do you know you’re not popular?”

My daughter answered, “Because no one crowds around my desk.” So, in grade four, you know you’re popular when a group of classmates crowd around your desk. It’s that simple.

Last week I ran into a friend whose daughter is also friends with mine. I told her that she should bring her daughter by for a playdate.

“That would be great,” she answered and continued stating the fact that her daughter “has only two friends. We’re working on that.” Her daughter even told her she was like the character in one of the books she was reading. “Not the popular one, but the other one who has no friends,” her daughter said to her. My friend said she almost cried when she heard her daughter say this. I, too, almost cried when my daughter told me she was only popular for “like, two seconds” when she brought in photos of her new baby brother. “Then everyone crowded around me.”

Thankfully, when I asked my daughter if she cared about being popular, she answered, “No, I don’t care.” Which is good, because as I’ve explained to her, one doesn’t need a ton of friends. One only needs a handful of good, nice friends. She doesn’t quite get why the popular girls in her class are popular because they are also the mean girls.

“If they’re mean, then why do people like them?” she asked.

What and how is a mother to answer?

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