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Teaching our daughter how to deal with mean girls

Jan 4, 2017 by

How do you teach your children to handle bullying at a young age? My husband and I recently had an experience where we needed to teach our daughter what to do.

Erin Stewart –

Why are some girls so mean?

That’s the question my 9-year-old daughter asked me as she opened up about a girl at school who is bullying her.

I’m hesitant to use the word bullying because it carries such weight these days but in this case, I believe it is the only word to describe the targeted, repeated and cruel behavior this classmate portrayed toward my daughter.

When my daughter first told me what was going on, I had to fight my mama bear instincts. I didn’t, for example, storm over to this little girl’s house, shake her by the shoulders and demand to know why she would treat my sweet daughter this way.

I didn’t do that, even though it took just about every ounce of restraint not to. Instead, I listened to my daughter tell me every last detail, and then I showed even more restraint by not launching into my advice on how to fix the problem. I just let her cry and talk and let someone in on the secret she had kept for so long alone.

Fortunately, my husband has been an educator for many years and deals with interpersonal relationships between elementary-aged kids almost daily. So, I always go to him whenever I don’t know what to do, which seems to be increasingly often as my children’s problems change from, “He won’t share” to “She is trying to undercut my self-esteem and destroy my self-image.”

Together, we came up with a plan. We decided the bullying had not reached a level where it needed to be reported yet, and we wanted to give our daughter the chance to handle her problem on her own so she would know how to address such “mean girl” issues in the future.

Source: Erin Stewart: Teaching our daughter how to deal with mean girls | Deseret News

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