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For parents of grade school age girls

I need your help! Is anyone else seeing how mean and nasty younger girls can be to one another? I have a daughter who is very strong minded, but yet is a very nice/sweet girl. I'm not saying she doesn't have her issues too but she isn't darn right nasty to her friends. One friend in her group of girls tends to be in charge of all the rest. Except for mine will stick up for herself and walk off to be with other friends if she doesn't like what the one is doing. But she is still friends w/her. Well this one friend, is having a party, and mine is the only one who is not included. Because of past history I know for a fact that at some point the gril having the party will let "it out" and then mine will be upest and sad. We decided to tell her vs her waiting to get hit with the news at school. She was sad of course, but worse yet doesn't understand why it is happening. I tried to explain that it's the way the other girls is being brought up. Her mom, likes her to be in charge and likes her to be head of the group. And she isn't afraid to let the other moms know this. The sad part is, I really believe IF the mom would back off the girls would all be fine and enjoy one another vs one being left out. This week it's mine and next week it will be someone elses. I know they say you shouldn't pick your childrens friends but we have tried to deal with this for 2 years now. And we are done. We have told our daughter she needs to play else where at school. And if and when the "friend" invites" her over because she's not "mad" at mine at this time we won't allow her to go. I know this sounds harsh but we can't see the pain in her eyes anymore. As a parent we hurt when she hurts. And if the other parents are allowing the child to act out in this way and be mean one day and nice other times when she "needs" someone I don't want my daughter part of it. I know everyone has a way they parent, I will listen to all...I am asking for opinions, not saying I will agree with you anymore than you do me...but I really would like to hear what you have to say. My son was and is much easier than what we are now dealing with for our daughter!

Fri. Aug 31, 2:23pm

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I'm not a parent (I know it's not the same coming from someone without kids!) but girls were just as mean to each other when I was in grade school! Every couple of weeks one girl would be singled out of the group and then they'd let her back in. Sometimes it seemed like it always happened to the same girls over and over. It's some sort of sick powerplay and you are right, the parents definitely probably have something to do with it.
I'm not sure what you can really do about it though. Preventing your daughter from being friends with these girls may make her feel worse instead of better. Eventually your daughter will figure out who her real friends are, and with your guidance and encouragement hopefully she'll develop good self esteem and won't let this stuff weigh her down too much.
About the party that is coming up that she wasn't invited to-is there somewhere she loves to go, or something she loves to do that you could both do on that day? Does she have friends outside of school that could take part? Maybe do something a little special for her that day so that when everyone goes back to school and is bragging about how fun the party is, she'll feel good knowing she had something fun to do also.

Don't worry, everyone always remembers who the mean ones were in school! Right now those types of girls are probably the popular ones, but in high school they'll just be b*tches, and afterwards, your daughter will leave them in the dust as she grows up to do more important things! It will work itself out!

Friday, August 31, 2007, 11:24 PM

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I would recommened the book Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads by Rosalind Wiseman (sp?) She helps parent figure out how to deal with helicopter parents, overbearing parents, etc. and their kids. I'm not sure how old your daughter is, but ultimately you want to give her the skills to figure out what kind of friends she wants. It will be good training for the teen years, too, as you want to be sure not to criticize her choice of friends (it only puts her in the position of defending herself and her choices, which pushes her closer to them) but rather point our her behavior/feelings/etc. when she's around her friends. Often, they eventually make the connection and decide on their own that so and so is not a good friend.

It hurts to see our kids hurt, but there's no value in shielding them from all disappointment, hurts, etc. Kids learn a lot when they figure out that life can suck at times, but they can live through it! It empowers them and gives them confidence ;)

Saturday, September 01, 2007, 1:00 PM

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Its important to have more than one group of friends. Does your daughter play sport or learn music or something outside of school? That way she will have other kids to turn to who aren't part of all the nastiness. Also she'll have a real interest to focus on instead of just worrying about who's queen bee today. My daughter is just starting to experience this type of behaviour at school too. Fortunately she's a gymnast so she has another group of girls to talk to who aren't involved in the power struggles. It helps a lot.

Sunday, September 02, 2007, 5:12 AM

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Not a mom, but I went thru the same exact thing in middle school, and then even the first few years of HS.

Don't worry, your child will come thru and realize for herself what a [insert expletive] this little snot is. I've had a friend for years who used to use me, be nasty, make fun of me, etc and I ignored it, made excuses, etc. For years! Then I just had enough - she was telling people that I was her friend only 'cause I secretly wanted to be smart and pretty like her -

So yeah, last year - I dumped her as a friend - completely. It took me a long time to realize it, but it was worth it.

I agree, make sure she has "outside" friends. Enroll her in lots of activities that she likes.

And play "cool mom". In a month or so, throw a really great party for her - and don't invite little snot. Sounds bratty, but it'll work. Giving people a dose of their own medication usually stops a lot of the worse things she might later start doing.

Sunday, September 02, 2007, 1:07 PM

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Little addendum - you might also want to prepare yourself mentally for what you'll reply when these kids get to the "nasty rumors and names" stage - it's coming


middle school.

Sunday, September 02, 2007, 1:11 PM

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When I went through this in high school, it was pure misery -- until one wonderful year when I and the Queen Bee fortuitously didn't have any contact, no classes together, no extracurrics, etc. I was finally free. And then when we were forced together again it wasn't so bad. So I think that giving your daughter some activity with a different set of girls might really help. Good luck!

Monday, September 03, 2007, 10:22 AM

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im still young myself-21- and i remember very well the way i was treated in junior high and high school. i also remember how much it tore my parents up insde to see me going through that. i never wanted my parents to interfere because that would be "so very un-cool" and they never did. they let me handle my own problems and eventually i understood that these girls were NOT my friends. friends sohuld never treat me that way. but if my parents would have forbid me to see them or to "hang out" with them that wouldn't stop me, and it probably would have made me want to be with them even more. (thats quite a pickle for parents) kids will be kids and their feelings will get hurt no matter how much you protect them, my parents were always there when i needed to talk/vent/cry, and they were 110% prepared to step in if things went too far(violence and such which never happened.) kids are horrible to eachother these days-and the only one you can parent is your own. make sure they grow up with the same great values as you did and you should have nothing at all to worry about.

Monday, September 03, 2007, 11:03 AM

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We have two daughters, ages 8 and 10, and we have strongly discouraged school activities, instead doing club tennis and dance. It's been a remarkable thing for both girls - they regularly have contact with kids from other schools and they don't seem to have formed the cliques and groups with their outside activities that we have observed forming at school. They have made some great friends over the years in these programs. I have also made friends with the moms there, so it's been good for me, too.

It's very hard, though, when one of them gets off the bus and I hear "so and so thinks she so POPULAR" - I have to try and remember to tell them to just be kind and deal with what comes, instead of telling them to retaliate (like I'd want to - haha).

Monday, September 03, 2007, 12:13 PM

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Hi I am the one who started this...thanks to all of you! I do want to say my daughter is in dance (with kids from other schools) she loves it. And I can't tell you how many times she has been put down since she isn't in the "name" dance...the one that her "friends" are in from her school. She has never looked down on her dance class and enjoys being around others. She is also in another activity but w/one of her friends. That at this point is still very nice to her even though she is in the middle of thing with the nonfriend! My daughter does have a good head on her shoulders and even though she is in grade school I feel she will be the better person after this is all done. I have told her I shouldn't of said she couldn't play w/the girl...she came back
with she is done being treated mean. She may change her mind and that is up to school.
I still won't invite her to our house and or my daughters b-day party in a few months. I really don't think mine will want her anyways. I know it's wrong to say this but I do feel that part of you will get it and understand...sometimes it takes getting your feelings hurt to stop being mean to ohters. Except I really don't believe that is will even bug this child...It will her mom, she has to have her child being the best/perfect child in school. I feel sad, the little girl could and was sweet at one time. It really is the mom...I wonder if she is living her childhood in her daughter! If she is, she will find out someday the hard way she has hurt her daughter more than she will ever know. Again thank you...I am doing the best I can to teach my daughter right from wrong. I hope in the end she grows to be a fine young lady...and realizes how not to treat others!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007, 2:38 PM

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I have 2 school aged daughters.

I know it hurts to watch your child deal with these slings and arrows, but ultimately your child seems to be on a good path (not nasty herself, and not afraid to go her own way)

I would remind her of that, how her traits are wonderful and will lead her to making smarter decisions as she gets older.

Yes, it hurts to be excluded and tell her you understand that and if she ever needs to talk to you, you are there for her and won't belittle her by diminishing the import of her pain (I know you wouldn't! just by reading your post here)

I'm not sure it's right to make the choice for her about whether or not she can go, but I don't know exactly how old she is. If she's 6 - then yes - I can see that... if she's 9 - it's a whole other story - and it could lead ot her being resentful and secretive about the issues in her life.

For example, my daughter told the teacher about a girl who frequently screams at people when she doesn't get her way. The gist of it was that the screamer had to write a booklet on how to be a good friend and she called my daughter and begged her to take back what she had said (the teacher went to tell the counselors etc who formed a circle group with the screaming girl as well as my daughter and a few other girls who were often yelled at by this girl)

My daughter's conclusion was - don't tell the teacher if you have a problem with a friend because then you have to go see the counselor and do all this extra work.

I felt sad by that. I told her that she needs to be able to tell me anything, and that should hopefeully also be true wiht other trusted adults (her dad, teachers grandparents, etc) and that we won't go ahead and make decisions for her without her input. At least I can promise that I won't do that. In other words, I feel it's very important that as children get older that they recognize that in addition to being 'disciplinarians' and rule makers, etc - we are also guides and 'havens' against the slings and arrows of the world.

You might buttress her up by just saying "This girl has a pattern of behavior and she excludes and includes just enough to make you feel bad and then draw you back in - so her power is never fully extinguished. You and only you can destroy the power she has over you by not playing into what seems to be a pattern. That means - the next time she invites you, you might want to refuse. If you choose to go - you should guard yourself - because she might turn around and try to push you down again.

there are books - the american girl library series has some good books, and there are a myriad more.

good luck. I know this girl thing is hard. People say that it wasn't like this in our day, but I remember being bullied emotionally as early as 4. I was the youngest kid in school, having a dec birthday and my parents were from India which nobody knew anything about(I started kindergarten in 1970). I was the only dark skinned person in class very frequently, the smallest, and I didn't belong the widely belonged to religions.

The best we can do, I believe is teach our girls to be strong, assertive, non-vengeful, and to believe i themselves even when others are trying to make them feel worthless. If anything, it's good practice for adulthood.

e are done. We have told our daughter she needs to play else where at school. And if and when the "friend" invites" her over because she's not "mad" at mine at this time we won't allow her to go. I know this sounds harsh but we can't see the pain in her eyes anymore. As a parent we hurt when she hurts. And if the other parents are allowing the child to act out in this way and be mean one day and nice other times when she "needs" someone I don't want my daughter part of it. I know everyone has a way they parent, I will listen to all...I am asking for opinions, not saying I will agree with you anymore than you do me...but I really would like to hear what you have to say. My son was and is much easier than what we are now dealing with for our daughter!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007, 3:03 PM

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One book that really resonated with me is the book "Cats eye" by Margaret Atwood

(I' m the 3:03 poster)

It really reminded me of what I went through.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007, 3:04 PM

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Update, Thanks everyone...I have listened to all.. I have let my dughter make her own decisions and we have just talked about the right way to treat others. Funny she is 8 and she has found out on her own with out our pushing that her so called friend is not her friend. And has made new good friends!!! It's sad the little girl would have a lot easier time IF her mom didn't push her to be the mean little girl she is. From what I have been told by others she has lost a great number of friends by treating them mean and playing one against another. For the sake of the girl without friends right now I hope her mom grows up and understands she is hurting her daughter.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 2:16 PM

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Thanks for the insights!

Thank you for this thread and your insights.

We moved to a new city and into a very tightly knit neighborhood 2 years ago. We have been 'accepted' but have since discovered that there are cliques within the adults and the children follow their lead. Till we arrived, one little girl was always excluded. Since we arrived, this little girl has proved to the others that she can be mean and nasty (to my daughter) and has since been included. We were not aware of these dynamics until my daughter was suddenly shunned in the school bus because now the other little girl didn't have to sit with her anymore! My daughter cried every day and asked to be a car rider - but she soon figured out that it was better to take a book to read or do something else than sit with the other girls and be ignored even more.

They have now started doing it at neighborhood parties, camping trips and even when the grils play together. My daughter has a thick skin and it takes her a while to realize that today they are being mean to her. It also depends on whether all 4 other girls are there at the same time. Individiually or in 2s they are willing to include her. But not when they are all together. And definitely not when the 3 core girls are together.

Today she was excluded from an impromptu party. She didn't know and went along with the other two. Everyone had received an invitation that morning except my daughter. When she came asking if she could go and that she had been told by the other 2 she was playing with that she could call and ask if she could go, I had a feeling that this was not a simple 'let's go over to her house to play'. I preferred that she did not go but my husband intervened saying that she would be excluded if she did not go to play. He thought I was being over sensitive. She did go and she did have a good time and was even surprised that there were other girls there who were not from the 'hood.

I'm feeling sick that she went to a party she was not invited to. I hurt when I think that she is the one who is not wanted. Most of this started when she started excelling at school. She's way ahead of everyone in Math and Reading. The teachers rave about her.

I need to figure out a way to not project my feelings on to her. I think that she is really free as this behavior does not affect most of the time. But when she cries, I hurt. She is a beautiful child, both inside and out. One of her solutions has been to find other friends. But on weekends she still plays with the kids in the 'hood. She almost fits the description of both, The Target and The Floater - from what I have been reading.

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 7:19 PM

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This is definitely a character builder for your child! You definitely have a right as a mom to help her in her decision making. Just make sure you are not making all of her decisions for her (it seems that you are doing this very well). Kids definitely need to figure it out on their own.

I took so much abuse from my friends when I was in HS. It wasn't until college that I realized what a true friend really is. My parents never stepped in, but offered their 2 cents, and their relatable stories. I'm really glad they stayed out of it. I needed to learn how to be social on my own accord...and I did. I have very close friends, and have left the other "friends" that sucked in the dust.

Growing pains. Their worth it.

Monday, November 12, 2007, 11:44 AM

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It's so hard isn't it? as a victim of bullying (emotional), I tend to worry abou tit alot with my 6 and 8yos girls, but you know something - if you give them love and REALLY listen to them (not just nod and blow it off), they will be strong and secure.

Monday, November 12, 2007, 9:25 PM

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