Early in September on what turned out to be one of the last amazing weather weekends of the summer my family and I went camping. My 2 year old daughter got to use her Disney Princess sleeping bag and had half of a 6 man tent to herself.

It was totally awesome.

She got to play at the beach, swim and meet a bunch of new kids at the park.

Sadly she also got a lesson in being excluded from a group.


She ran up to play with 3 or 4 other little girls that were maybe 1 year older than her at the most. They were all already friends and had traveled to camp together with their families.

They decided that screaming “ah get away from the girl” was the game to play and for a while Eden just played chase. She loves to be chased and to chase people.

After about 5 minutes she realized that what was really happening was that the ‘friends’ were running away from her and not really letting her be part of their group.

So she sat down.

Sitting by the camp fire enjoying a morning coffee I could see all this happening and my heart was breaking as she sat down. I can read my daughter and I could see she was sad.

They enticed her to play ‘chase’ for a few more minutes but her heart wasn’t really in it anymore and she left.

Coming back to the campsite she had a huge pouty lip (which is pretty dang cute really) and told me the story of the girls ‘just running away from me and screaming ah the girl stay away.’ Then she told me she was sad they wouldn’t play with her.

Talk about breaking a parent’s heart.

What’s your group

I’d love to say that as we grow up we learn that it sucks to be excluded from a group and we become more inclusive. That’s not what seems to happen though.

When we are left out we react by finding a group to join and excluding someone else.

Do ‘most’ freelancers speak poorly of those that work on oDesk or Elance? Yes they do. How do you think that the people reading your blog posts feel about you saying how terrible their work is?

Their work that is paying the family bills and keeping a roof over their heads?

When we crap all over places like that we lose the opportunity to educate the users there because they’ll never come back to read our site.

I did work on Elance when I started and I was happy for the work. I don’t do it now purely for business reasons. I don’t knock any person that gets work there, they are just running a different business than I am.

Are there strong cases not to work for Elance or oDesk clients? I certainly think so, but if we just go on about how terrible the sites are we are the group of kids running away.

We are excluding others instead of welcoming them into freelancing with open arms and working to help them run a proper business.

I hope that I can be an ‘arms open’ person and help train everyone that comes near me.

I hope that you can strive for that too.

photo credit: gfpeck via photopin cc

One response to “How I watched my 2 year old learn about exclusion”

  1. Kelly Avatar

    Aww poor Eden, that breaks my heart…sadly it won’t be the last time someone decides to not include her but hopefully she will remember how she felt when she sees someone needing someone to play with and will make them feel special 🙂
    Awesome blog Curtis…everyone can learn something from someone