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Boys excluding girls on playground

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry, not sure if this should be in the adolescent forum?  But, as it's school day related, I think this is ok?


Anyway, my 3/4 grade (8 and 9.5 yo) DDs love to play kick ball before school and at recess.  We've had a problem with the boys excluding the girls.  Or, when they're picking teams, if a girl picks a boy, the boy refuses to go to their team saying the boys are a "package deal".


My DD did try to work it out herself, tried talking to them etc... but, it didn't work and there is only 1 kickball field so it's not like she could go start another game.


So, after a few weeks of this, I talked to the teacher and it seemed to get better.  Actually, she had her boyfriend (who does volunteer work at school) go out and play with the kids, sort of monitor things, encourage fair play etc.... and it seemed to get better but, only as long as someone is there watching.


Well, now it's happening again.  For some reason, the kickball field is flooded and the kids have created a soccer area.  So, my 9.5 yo was playing today and the boys are starting again.  Telling DD that the girls are pestering them and can't they go play somewhere else.


These games are all just sort of pick up games - whoever is around plays - well, as long as you're a boy, whoever is around is welcome to play.  These are school balls, school field etc...  it's not like a boy brings a ball and wants to play with his friend.  This is just a whole group of kids getting a game together. 


I'm so tired of it.  DD is very self assured and does try to stand up for herself but,  she's getting so frustrated.  And the problem is that there is only one kickball field and one other area for a soccer game.   So, if they boys are out there, they seem to claim it as theirs and don't want the girls to play.


I don't want to keep going to the teacher but, I don't know how to handle this.  Any thoughts?

post #2 of 10

Our school started a Peaceful Playgrounds program that really improved quality of life at recess. Here's a little blurb about it:



Are there no playground monitors? They should be all over this situation. Good luck to your DDs. They sound like great kids!


post #3 of 10

Does your daughter have a boy she can enlist?  One who would reply "I'll play but it's a package deal.  I'll only play if the girls get to, too."  You'd think there'd be at  least one boy who would find it cooler to play with the girls.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, no. It appears as though all the boys stand together. There is one boy who will occasionally go over to the girls team but, he doesn't often play.
post #5 of 10

amcal i dont know what to say.


i see this in 3rd grade not only in our school but some other schools too. 


i dont know how to bridge that social gap.


i know i talk to my dd and tell her to be more assertive in situations like that - coz if she chooses a mans profession, that experience is going to be a life long thing so she might as well prepare for it now. 


the other girls dont want to play soccer i guess?!!


it is interesting to me. dd's boy friends will ignore her really at school, but at playdates they play together. 


post #6 of 10

This is difficult because it's a behavior that often goes both ways but girls are seldom required to let boys play. Boys don't fight it as much because they would get harrassed by the other boys should the be jumping rope or playing horsie with a group of girls. I do feel there are times and places for single gender play,... I mean, as adults, we often enjoy a "girls night out" right?


That said, if there is only one field, the boys can't very well own it. Girls absolutely need active play at recess too. I know you've talked to the teacher but is there any other recess/lunch staff? I know our schools have noon duties that cover lunch recess so the teachers can have a break. They might be a good contact since they are in the trenches daily. If not, might be good to chat with the principal. They'll have more power to alter things on a larger scale. Unfortunately, it's not going to turn around without steady and long term supervision on the field. 


A great picture book about this sort of thing "Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores." Both by girl and boy loved that one.

post #7 of 10

I think recess should be about kids having some choice..maybe groups of kids can take turns on the field on different days.

post #8 of 10
I would be going to the authorities about this, and I am not the type who does that very often at all. It would really push my buttons. This is why girls lose interest in athletics.
post #9 of 10

This isn't only a girls against the boys thing either.  At my son's school boys and girls are being pushed out of games by the boys that are "better" players.  A 4th grader told me that there were so many kids wanting to play that "shouldn't be because they are not good enough".  It is amazing the social changes that are taking place this year in 4th grade.  I'm really noticing certain groups of boys getting really mean toward other groups. 

post #10 of 10

I found that team play tended to occur mostly between kids who were at a similar skill level. Let's be realistic - it IS more fun to play a game with people who are good at it, than with those who aren't. May not be fair, but it is reality. Perhaps try to engage the school admin in finding ways to make the use of the field more equitable.

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