Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Are Little Girls So Mean?

My oldest daughter is a 5th grader this year. I have just this one last year before she heads off to middle school where she will inevitably turn into a moody teenager and the world will feel like it's coming to an end. But I have noticed that ever since about the 3rd grade, my daughter has had constant problems with other girls in school. Little mini cat-fights. Seriously. What could a group of girls, starting at the age of 8, have to fight about?

It hurts me as a parent to watch her go through these ups and downs. Because, being a girl myself, I know that it does not get any better. Sometimes it affects her grades, and it most certainly affects her moods...which in turn affects my mood because she gets pissy with me after work and well, that sucks.

All of the parenting advice that I've read and received tells me that these problems are very common for her age group. My friend (who happens to be a child psychologist) and I took the kids to dinner last night and tried to help my daughter sort out all of the issues. We wanted to give her a way to go back to school and take care of the situation. So we did some role playing. It was odd, but it went pretty well.

My friend and I pretended to be the mean girls that gang up on her, and Deja played herself. She asked us: "Why are you mad at me? Why did you stop being my friend?" And we made up things such as: "I heard you said something mean about me." and "You act bossy." and we made Deja come up with responses to these questions and even a general apology towards the girls if she felt like she wanted to mend the friendship.

We also talked about how when she gets mad, she shouldn't yell at people. We talked about what other things she could do to get her feelings out and to calm down before she makes the situation worse. She said that she likes to write, so I got her a notebook in which she can write down how she feels - just to vent - a private notebook just for herself.

Do you think these things will work? I didn't know what else to do, but I'm going to ask her in about a week how things are going and if she has talked to the girls. I'd love to hear what other parents are doing to help their daughters get through these situations....

1 comment:

Miranda M. said...

You go, girl! I think you are putting a lot more thought into these problems then most moms do. My mom just said, avoid them. I wish she had taught me healthy confrontation skills! If it will work is hard to say -but know that doing the little things your doing for her now WILL work in the long run for developing a healthy sense of self in your Deja.