We all fret that our children may be the victims of bullies and for the parents of girls the dreaded ‘mean girl’ can cause some serious worry. Mean girls can cause emotional damage to our daughters and we want nothing more than to protect them. But, what if the tables are turned and we are raising the mean girl? Watch for these signs to tell if your daughter is trying her hand at being a ‘mean queen’ and be sure to nip these behaviors in the bud as soon as possible.
Consistently Forming Exclusive Groups or Clubs
If your daughter is constantly attempting to form small groups of specific friends you can bet she is more interested in who she is excluding rather than who is accepted into the club. Girls typically bully using a form of exclusion. It’s a rather cruel move and if you’ve ever been on the other end of it, you know it can be pretty painful.
Tip: Model inclusive behavior for your daughter. Children learn from what we do rather than what we say.
Controlling of her Friends and Siblings
Mean girls have some serious control issues, or so it seems. They typically like to make all of the decisions regarding social situations to ensure that they are never left out, feel inadequate or otherwise become unhappy in any way. The loss of control is very uncomfortable for them and they might risk important relationships in order to maintain that control.
Tip: Arrange for some situations where she isn’t able to control the outcome. Let her see that she will be just fine either way.
Obsesses about Popularity and Superficial Accolades
Sure, all kids have some interest in being popular but a mean girl will become overly focused on current fashions, trends and all those things that make one ‘cool’. She’ll want to have the best, be the best and make sure everyone around her knows it. All this, while balancing on that fine line between overconfidence and debilitating insecurity.
Tip: Encourage other interests. Limit access to social media which can feed these obsessions.
Regularly has Trouble With Friends
A mean girl doesn’t always rule her friends, as we may see on tv. A true mean girl will run into problems often. This is because many parents today are raising confident and bully-aware children that will stop a mean girl in her tracks.
Tip: Talk to other parents when these arguments break out. They may be able to shed some light on the truth of what really happened.
Struggles With Jealousy
A mean girl will never quite be satisfied. It’s almost as if she has set the bar too high for her friends and even herself. She’ll typically feel that the grass is always greener on the other side, so to speak. A mean girl will find it very difficult to be truly happy with her lot in life.
Tip: Don’t spoil them! Giving your child everything and anything usually backfires and causes them to want what they can’t have because everything else comes too easy.
It’s not a perfect formula but if you take the time to look at your child from all angles and continue to model good behavior, she’ll begin to see that her mean girl ways cause more problems than they are worth.