Raising a daughter is hard especially when you know that one day they’ll have to deal with the “mean girls” at school. I dealt with them in middle school but times have changed and these “mean girls” start as early as Pre-K!
This past week my 4 year old daughter told me about two girls in her Pre- Kindergarten class who are mean to her. At first I “chalked it up” to kids “just being kids” until she told me in detail what they were doing. Just like their older counterparts, these girls were partaking in “thug behavior” by saying mean things to my daughter, attempting to ostracize her from the group and trying to intimidate her to do what they wanted her do. By the time she was done telling me, I was fuming and considered going to the school to talk with the girls myself. I decided against the latter. So I did exactly what they don’t tell you to do in the parenting magazines.
I sat my daughter down and in my serious tone I told her by no means did she have to listen to these girls. I went further and told her that instead of being quiet when the girls bothered her (or made her sad) that she was to tell them to LEAVE HER ALONE! I then explained to her that because she was smart, kind and smart that that didn’t mean the other kids would be. She looked at me and I could see in her eyes how serious she was taking my “talk”. We then practiced several situations and what she should do so that she did not have to endure the “mean girls” or their bullying.
This is what I call “real parenting”. It’s no longer acceptable to “sugar coat” issues and send kids to school as targets for the ever widening group of bullies. Just like adults, kids have to be equipped to handle bullies in life. When I dropped her off the next day at school I was nervous but I knew she’d no longer be a victim. Instead when I picked her up she proudly told me that she had “stood up” for herself. That lesson right there will hopefully resonate with her for the rest of her life. Don’t allow the “mean girls” or bullies to make you feel bad about your life.
So what do you do to make sure the “mean girls” don’t terrorize your children? Follow these three, simple rules:
1. Contact your child’s teacher so that she’d be aware of what was going on in the class. Many states have anti bullying legislation in the wake of kids committing suicide over bullying. Read your state’s statutes and know your rights! For example, here in Georgia if kids are written up twice for bullying they are automatically sent to an alternative setting.
2. Instruct your kids HOW to handle the “mean girls” in life. I made sure my daughter understood that there was nothing wrong with her despite what the bullies wanted her to believe.
3. Schedule a conference with all parties involved (kids, parents and teachers). This should be a last resort but it can be an effective action. Many times the kids aren’t the ones to blame but instead you find that their parents are “mean adults”. Kids only imitate behavior—especially as young as 4 years old.
In conclusion, I quickly resolved my daughter’s issues but I know the day is coming where I won’t be there to give her immediate advice. Hopefully she’s learned what to do even when I’m not around.