Girls can just be plain mean. I’m talking about ruthless, vindictive, green-eyed monster mean. Having four daughters at home, I have seen mean girls of all ages and I am trying to help my daughters deal with mean girls in the best way possible.
Moms, I guess we should totally fess up. Our gender is made up of some catty backstabbers, isn’t it? We know those moms that tear down every single mom that doesn’t fit her expectations of what a “real” mom should be. We also know those moms who are always super jealous of other moms. You can almost see the smoke erupting from their heads when someone prettier, funnier, smarter, richer, healthier or sweeter comes along. Instead of admiring their good qualities and befriending them, that mom sends evil glares in her direction. Sigh. Some people never grow up, do they?
But, guess what? Most of the time a mean girl who is 5 or 15 has a mom who acts almost identically cruel. Let’s keep that tucked away in our hearts. Why? Because our daughters learn more from our actions than from our words. They watch us and imitate us.
At home we can somewhat control the kindness level of our home. In fact, there are some words and phrases that are not allowed in our home because they are so incredibly demeaning to others. But, I cannot control the kindness level outside my home. When mean girls come into my daughters’ lives, I want my daughters to understand how they should deal with them. And, wow, do I have some real-life anecdotes to share with them!
Right now I am teaching the principles below to my daughters because they have already encountered some mean girls. And just to prepare you, mean girls can be members of your home-school co-ops, girl scout groups, family and even church. They’re everywhere. That’s why your daughters needs guidance in this area, so they don’t act out of pure anger or hurt. I hope the principles help you and your daughter walk through this sticky situation as well. If it does, let me know on Facebook! I love to hear from my readers!
How to Help Your Daughter Deal With Mean Girls
- Be kind in return. Kindness always wins. It’s never right to sink down to someone else’s level just because you are outraged by their attitude and words. Instead, continue to do what you know is right, which is acting and speaking with kindness — at all times. You can’t control the other mean girl’s attitude, but you can control yours!
- Forgive. No matter if the mean girl ever asks for forgiveness, you should still forgive her and move on. Don’t harbor bitterness in your heart — it will make you an ugly, bitter person that finds little joy in the most precious things in this life.
- Don’t ignore, but don’t pursue. Mean girls are not the type of girl you need to have as a close friend. Why? Because her rotten attitude will eventually pull you down and affect you. However, still be cordial and polite by saying hello when you see one another. Even if you’re staying quiet and not engaging in arguing, she may assume you are trying to ignore her, which will only fuel her meanness.
- Address the situation. If your kindness still doesn’t seem to affect the mean girl, consider talking to her about the problem privately. Let her know that you notice that she says mean things to you and shoots you dirty looks. Ask her if something is wrong, or if you did something that made her upset. Let her know you want to work things out. But be prepared. Some girls will welcome an opportunity to repair a relationship — others will continue to live in a mean, self-centered world.
- Ask yourself a question. Sometimes a mean girl really does have a reason for being nasty towards you. Maybe you did something that really hurt her in the past, but you are oblivious to it now. Think back and try to think of anything you my have said or done that would offend or hurt the mean girl. If you think you have the answer, make a point to apologize to the mean girl and try to work t things out.
- If her attitude becomes violent, tell an adult. It’s absolutely crazy how violent kids are these days. Since when has it been ok for a child or teen to punch, grab, pinch, bite or pull someone else’s hair? Really? It is beyond me how this type of behavior goes unpunished, and in return you see the peacemakers getting physically hurt. If another child or teen ever physically harms you, tell me. I will do something about it.
- Ask me to discuss the matter with the mean girl’s mom. This is normally a last resort for me as I try to keep peace among my mom friends and acquaintances, but sometimes you need me to stand up for you and let the mom understand the situation from your point of view. I will strive to stay calm, listen to both sides and seek a resolution.
Have you discussed this issue with your daughter yet? What plan did you come up with to address the situation? Share your experience with our community of moms on Facebook!