Mean girls have been around for as long as I can remember.
Perhaps you’ve ran into a few when you were a kid.
Perhaps you were their target like I was.
Perhaps you were even one when you were growing up.
Perhaps your child has had the unfortunate experience of being the victim of one.
Perhaps your child is one.
Whatever the case, mean girls seem to hang on and exist despite anti-bullying programs and zero tolerance policies at school. I just can’t seem to figure out why. What joy can I child get out of hurting another child either mentally or physically? Maybe I’m just naïve, but I just don’t get it.
The only explanation I can come up with is that we are raising a society of mean girls. Truth be told we have been for what seems like forever. It’s not just in certain parts of the country. It’s not exclusive to certain schools or districts. It is everywhere. While I do think outside influences can play a part, I don’t think we can pass the blame. It starts at home.
What are we teaching at home? Are we teaching kindness? Are we teaching tolerance? Are we teaching our kids to be genuinely good people? Sadly, I don’t think enough of us are. If we were then mean girls would cease to exist. We as parents need to take responsibility for the types of people we are raising. We need to teach them to be kind. It would be unrealistic for us to teach them to be friends with everyone. That’s just not possible. What is possible is to teach them to treat everyone with respect and kindness. The golden rule never gets old. Treat others like you want to be treated. It’s as simple yet as complicated all in the same breath.
Do you think those mean girls would like it if they were treated like they treat others? Honestly, some of them have become so damaged that it may bounce right off of them and onto their next victim. Others may actually feel some of the pain they’ve inflicted on others.
If you think your kids need to reach middle school or high school to feel the wrath of mean girls, think again. It’s happening even younger than you may think. I’ve seen it in elementary schools and as early as first grade. It is heartbreaking. No parent should every have to explain mean girls to their crying child who just doesn’t understand what they could have done wrong when they know they’ve done nothing.
At those young ages where are these kids learning this type of behavior? Why do they think it is acceptable? The only answer that makes sense to me is that they are learning it from home. Perhaps it’s what they are not learning at home. They are not being taught basic values of being a decent human being. If this is the case then we are failing as parents. We are failing as a society.
Simply put, can we stop raising mean girls? Is it really too much to ask? I can guarantee that everyone will benefit if we can just figure it out.
Great article Kris..both my kids have been victims to some type of bullying. The girls are definitely the worst!! My son gets it sometimes too but he’s starting to learn how to handle it himself. My daughter is very sensitive and loves everyone so when it’s done to her I get so upset cause I hate seeing her upset. I’m like you where I can’t understand why girls would want to hurt one another. We as women have enough to deal with already. Your right..we need to be kinder to one another and teach our kids to be more compassionate and accepting and less mean and hurtful. Then maybe the world would be a better place.
Thanks Amy! I’m starting to see it already and it just gets me so mad! It stinks to see kids upset because of the actions of others.
I hear this!!! Great article! As you know I’m no stranger to the “mean girls” It’s a harsh world out there and as moms we want to shield them from the cruelty. When they’re away from our arms we can’t we go from protector to healer.
I was bullied by mean girls and my daughter just encountered a bully in her swim classes. I don’t understand how 7 and 8 year olds can be so nasty. You are right though… we can stop it at home.
Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).
Wishing you a lovely evening.