Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mean girls: the way we roll

A few years ago, when our daughter was just in elementary school, I had mentioned to her friend's Mom (and also my friend) that I would not tolerate a 'mean girl' attitude from Audrey.

My friend laughed, because, at the time, she had an older girl in middle school. Essentially, she what trying to tell me that she knew how girls were, and I should just expect it.

I vowed that I would never, ever put up with that sort of behavior. Ever.

Since then, we haven't had to deal with many mean girl or queen bee situations, but when we have, I have always repeated the same mantra to Audrey: "I don't care what anyone else is doing, you need to set a good example."

Recently, she has had to take the brunt of some mean behavior from others.

But today, I had to show her the way we roll in our house when we have been the mean one. She wasn't bullying, but she was not being a friend to one of her friends.  One of her friends? That is so not setting a good example.

Let's go back about thirty years. I had a decent size group of friends in elementary school. However, we were either mean as a group to everyone else, or we were mean to each other.

Repeatedly, growing up, I felt picked on and abandoned by my very own friends. There was always whispering, teasing, phone pranks, ranks within the clique, etc.

It sucked. And, I am well aware that I was not an innocent bystander. It was the survival of the fittest at all times.

I am relatively confident this is the very reason that I tend to keep friends at a distance, still today.  The old adage - Who needs enemies when you have friends? - applies to my childhood friendships.

Okay, fast forward back to today.

Another friend called me (with much trepidation for various reasons) to let me know that there was some 'not so nice' behavior going on. Audrey was involved.

I am not really sure if my darling daughter thought I was fibbing about the way we roll when it comes to treating others and being the good example. But at one point today, I minced no words when letting her know that if it happened again, I would rip her head off... of course, that was in addition to some other soft motherly instruction given.  

{ Side note: I also told her today that ladies do NOT drink Hawiian Punch. And, I meant it. }

As far as I am concerned, there is no excuse for treating 'friends' like crap. There is no good reason for the backstabbing, teasing, one-upping, etc.

I am not really sure why, as parents, we feel the need to give excuses. But, I do wish we would stop.

We need to stop fearing the conversation with other parents about how their children are making our children (or other children) feel with cruel and inappropriate behavior because we know that there could be retaliation or lost friendships.  We also need to stop putting up five thousand different defense mechanisms when our own child is the one that is not being the 'nice friend'.

If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck... well, you know the rest.

Let's face it, kids can be cruel. Girls are especially evil. But they don't have to be. And,  if they are, there is something bigger going on.

Whether it is peer pressure, struggles at home or their own poor self-esteem, there is always something else going on. Instead of glossing over these issues or chalking them up to hormones, we should be addressing them with our children.

I don't have to get into why my own daughter didn't act like a true friend recently. Because, it doesn't really matter....  

What is critical in this situation is that her actions (or lack thereof) made someone else feel like crap. And, that is so. not. cool.

I am pretty sure she gets that now. I would really hate for her to lose her head.


  1. I Love this...could you make sure that adults women (and I can think of a few) read this and grow the heck up! I am tired of women treating one another badly. If you can not be honest then don't be a friend.

  2. And some of those terrible women...attend church with us Anne!