Dealing with mean girls
Playground politics is a very real and often scarring issue. But what can parents do?
I left school a few years ago, but I remember the ‘meetings’ that were called when the leader of a group of friends decides that one girl is no longer ‘worthy’. Personally, I was always rather confused as to why we couldn't all just be friends all of the time.
Perhaps your daughter is at the receiving end of this kind of bullying
. The kind that insists that she be left out of break time activities or doesn't receive an invitation when her entire class does.
Parenting expert and school counsellor, Anne Cawood
, points out that it's quite a common occurrence.
'Girls are more into verbal expression of feelings and opinions – and also can have a knack of showing disapproval with a look or a body nuance,' says Anne. 'The phrase "looks can kill" is so true of many girls. They can wither another girl with a certain toss of the head or a rolling of the eyes.'
What can you, as the parent, do though? Do you approach the parents, the teachers or the bully
Here is what Anne says is the best approach to dealing with girl bullies:
- If your daughter complains about being bullied, take note, listen and seriously consider what she’s saying.
- Don’t take over straight away. In the long run your child will benefit from learning to develop her own coping skills and strategies.
- If the bullying is serious, action should definitely be taken by arranging a meeting with the principal, teacher and the bully’s parents.
- Be aware of body language. If you notice your child withdrawing and becoming depressed, take action immediately.
It’s important remember that playground bullies are not just ‘kids being kids’ but can lead to something more. Listen and watch your kids, they’ll soon enough let you know if a situation is becoming more that they can handle.
Was your child bullied? What was your solution?