This is a common complaint in the Pre-K classroom. Sometimes it’s “he”, sometimes “she” and most often “they.” No matter which pronoun precedes the declaration, it is certainly “not my fault!”. The Pre-K child’s development of fairness, self and place in the social world drives the logic behind feelings of inequity.
Here is an example of a conversation I overheard recently. Two children were already engaged in a game of “family” under the loft. Two other children wanted to join in on the game:
(all names are ridiculously fictitious)
Blessing: But, Mrs. Forst, They aren’t playing right!
Harold: Yeah! She won’t let us play her game!
Mrs. Forst: Blessing, tell me what happened?
Blessing: Ivan “grrrrrred” at me and he breathed in my face.
Ivan: I was a bear! I was a BAD bear and I was going to eat her.
Blessing: And Harold just yanked all of our food away. He didn’t even ask!
Harold: But I didn’t have any food.
(at this time the words were flying like bats out of a cave, I had to do something to make the discussion more focused…)
Mrs. Forst: Ivan, what do you want?
Ivan: I want to play with them.
Mrs. Forst: Blessing, what do you want?
Blessing: I don’t want them to be bad bears and steal our food.
Mrs. Forst: Ivan, ask her how you can play in their game.
Ivan: What can we do in your game?
Blessing: You can be good family or pets.