Are you raising a mean girl?
Take a second to think about it before you jump to say no. Because sometimes ya really just don’t know.
I remember watching the movie “Mean Girls” years ago. I have to say — I loved the movie at the time. It made me laugh.
Today, not so much. I watch it with a different eye and a new perspective. Looking back, my kids were still young when the movie debuted and I hadn’t really witnessed mean girl behavior at its finest —
I was not a seasoned mother, nor had bully awareness or, as they say, “girlilla warfare” been brought to the forefront.
It was still all kind of hidden- sorta like “grandma’s drinking problem”.
So while ten years ago the tag line “On Wednesdays we wear pink” may have made me chuckle, today it would just make me silently think how thankful I am not to be a teenager anymore.
I was one of the lucky ones. Growing up, I didn’t encounter many mean girls. I actually have encountered more as an adult than when I was a child — way more.
Way, way, way more.
That’s not to say there weren’t a few scattered here and there back in the day.
But I had a rock solid group of friends, many of which I’m still friends with to this day — one in particular still being a best friend.
But I never followed anyone — ever. Nor had I cared to. I walked to my own beat, much like I do today, never really caring what ANYONE thought of my behavior or me.
Today they call it a nonconformist, non-follower, a maverick, individualist or as I like to refer to it as being “just me.”
I’ve managed to remain that girl and proud of it, and that is exactly how I strive to raise my own children.
What I’ve learned in my life is that some “mean girls” really don’t ever stop being mean. They just grow up to be mean moms with mean kids.
I think one of the worst forms of covert mean girl (or boy) behavior is actually what I like to call — exclusion.
As a parent, you should know who your children’s circles of friends are. While we can’t control who they pick to be their friends — we, as parents, have to wonder why different friendships abruptly end for our kids.
We have to ask the important question WHY, and while honoring our children’s answers, delicately teach them what qualities to look for in true lasting friendships down the road. It’s important to teach kids to have a conscience just like they are taught math or science. They need to understand how social pecking order works, how they can act differently and how to rise above it.
We all know girl behavior is as temperamental at 8 as it is at 48. It’s the nature of the beast. We women/girls are moody, emotional, sensitive, catty — the list goes on and on.
But the good ol’ saying about the Queen Bees and the Wannabes holds true at every age. Rosalind Wiseman, the author of that book wrote it best.
Today, I’m coining a new term for another form of bee — it’s the bee that doesn’t want to lead, yet has no desire to follow. That bee is called the “let it bee,” and I’m not referring to John Lennon’s song from 1970.
The “let it bee” flutters around doing her own thing, and she doesn’t get caught up in the “bee littling” behaviors of the queen bees and the wanna bees. This is because the “let it bee” recognizes that while she may have the power to sting others, she chooses not to because it would hurt them. And the “let it bees” aren’t about hurting others. They just want everyone to bee happy.
It really is sad for me to see how being mean is passed down from generation to generation. Children model their parents’ behavior, and the greatest form of teaching/learning gets turned on its head.
News flash, mommies —
– It’s not okay to support exclusion;
– It’s not okay to leave kids out even if your child wants to;
– It’s not okay to turn a blind eye to your child’s social media activity;
– It’s not okay for your child to be mean to other children;
– Lastly, and most importantly…
It’s not okay that you don’t already know this.
Until next week,