Sticks and stones

Why are little girls so mean to each other? Sprog 1 came home from school yesterday, smiling brightly as she walked through the door. But when I asked about her day, she burst into tears. At lunchtime, her best friend told her she picks a new best friend every year, so see ya later. Holding her in my arms as she sobbed, my heart broke. I wished I could protect her from the slings and arrows of outrageous playground behaviour, but I can’t. Unless a situation escalates to bullying, her battles are her own. After soothing her sobs, I asked her to remember how awful it feels when someone says mean things. And I told her nothing would make me prouder than if she tried to always be kind. But I don’t like my chances. There’s something in kids’ natures that makes them do unto others as others have done unto them. The pack mentality is brutal too – if a kid is picked on, others don’t stick up for them (they might even join in), to avoid being picked on themselves. I expect the teen years will be even more challenging, with girls cranking the emotional torture up a notch. I feel so helpless, knowing the best I can do is remind the Sprogs what wonderful, worthwhile human beings they are. But trying to compete with negative messages from their peers will be hard. I just hope Sprog 1 listened to my plea and is brave enough to accept people for who they are, no matter the colour of their hair, the shade of their skin, the clothes they wear, the friends they keep. I meant it when I said nothing would make me prouder than having children who are kind. That leaves grey area around teen pregnancy, truancy, negative body image, alcohol poisoning, drugs. But – call me naive – I reckon there would be a whole lot less of the latter if there was a bit more of the former.

8 thoughts on “Sticks and stones

  1. Omg! I am so with you on this. It’s a nightmare at the moment for my 9 yo at school. Her bff or so called, is making her say and do mean things to other girls. Ok she should be tougher but the bff thing is quite strong at her age. She stood up to her the other day and all hell broke loose! Teacher made three of them sign a good friendship contract today … Here’s hoping!

  2. It is horrifying. For my kids, I try to let them not take it so seriously because I know kids say sh*t one day and change their mind the next. I tell them everybody has bad days. I am on their side but I try not to let them feel like victims or to give up on themselves (because I know the pack can smell blood) and a confident kid is harder to bully. Peer group behaviour is very hard to counteract, so I feel if there talking then my job is to listen, but I have stepped in and said that I expect them to behave kindly to others and not be mean for mean sake.
    good luck, hope she has a better day today.

  3. Pingback: 13-02-12 Love Mummy Weekly Showcase

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