Protecting My Daughter from Mean Girls

Spread the loveWhy do our girls have to go through the ‘mean girl’ stuff?! I seriously could not believe it when my 4 year old came home from Pre-K talking about how another girl in her class was mean to her. Kids are going to be kids, I get that. What I don’t understand is why does drama, bullying and just being plain out mean for absolutely no reason have to be present? My heart shattered when my 4 year old told me Momma, I can’t wear this to school. Another girl laughs at me when I where stuff like this. Now, I was not sending my daughter in a clown costume or any other silly Halloween (even if I was, still don’t think it would deserve ‘mean’ laughs). Her clothes were typical play clothes that I had picked up from Target. What is there not to love about Target, including the cute girl clothes?! There was obviously more to the story than my daughter looking ‘silly’. With the straightest face I could muster up, I told my daughter that there wasn’t anything silly about how she dressed. I somehow managed to hold back the countless tears that were beginning to stock up in my tear ducts. Why do there have to be ‘Mean Girls’? I felt the need to come up with an excuse for why the other little girl was being mean. There had to be some reasonable explanation, and it had to be one that my 4 year old could comprehend. I begin to tell my daughter that there are just some kids who are not happy for one reason or another. It could be that they have had a bad day or maybe something isn’t going right in their home. It had nothing to do with how my daughter looked, but more so that the girl had to take out her ‘bad day’ on someone. She was an easy target because everyone else knows that she doesn’t look silly and her heart is genuine. She possible knew that she would take the meanness and walk away without putting up a fight. My daughter seemed to get that. The other girl was just having a ‘bad day’. What about years later? Can those ‘mean girls’ have multiple bad days that seem to affect my daughter every.single.time? Fast forward to almost 3 years later….the ‘mean girls’ have started to pop up again. Sticks and Stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Yesterday, my daughter (now in 1st grade) got off the school bus with a not so happy grin. I knew something was up. We mommas always know when something is bothering our children #momintuition. I asked her how was her day as she approached the front door. Her response, ‘It was good until I got on the bus.’ ‘What do you mean until you got on the bus?’ I asked her. She hesitates to answer at first, then quickly responds ‘Some girls on the bus were mean to me. They said they didn’t like me. They weren’t talking to me, but were saying it out loud in another seat on the bus.’ And you probably can already guess what starts happening. Fuzzy ears start appearing on each side of my head, bear claws begin to emerge from what used to be my short-cut, unpainted finger nails. I was approaching momma bear status. What the heck?! If you were to know my daughter, you would know that she has one of the biggest hearts. She would do anything for you and would never want to truly heart your feelings. She would be devastated to know if that were to ever occur. Why would some other girls have a problem with her? Come to find out, it was 2 girls much older than her. Wow. So 2 older girls wanted to be ugly to my daughter. Was it out of boredom or maybe they were having one of those ‘bad days’ as I mentioned earlier. My daughter told me that before she got off the bus, she let the school bus driver know what was going on. THANK YOU. I told my daughter that was exactly what she needed to do: do not engage back in conversation and to let an adult know what is going on. Being confrontational is not always the answer. I also reminded her about the talk of some kids just having ‘bad days’ as well as it quite possibly could have been that the girls envied something about her. Just maybe those girls thought that by picking on a younger girl that they would feel some sort of confidence boost about themselves. I told my daughter that it was absolutely the most silliest thing to hear about older kids picking on the younger ones. I told her, ‘Just sit back and laugh it off. It is just plain silly. There is nothing about you that could ever be made fun of or not liked, especially by some older kids who don’t even know you. On top of it all, who really cares what they think anyway? You don’t need anyone to tell you that you are not good enough. You have yourself to do that.’ She looked at me, smiled, and said ‘You are right.’ If there is anything that my children take away from me and can actually say that I am right about, it is hopefully that they are worth it. They are good enough and all the words that any other child mumbles in their direction is just words. Nothing more. Like that saying we use to chant as kids: ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ We all have our bad days, but if we can instill in all our children that words are just words and that each person is worthy, no matter what circumstance they may come from, just maybe we can stop the ‘mean girls’. Our daughters are better than that ‘mean girl’ status as well as those who are being attacked by the very words muttered by those ‘mean girls’.