I’m Tynicka. Ask any mother of of a grade school girl and she’ll tell you straight up: these young ladies are getting meaner at a younger age. We’re talking, gang-up-on-a-girl-that’s-wearing-fake-Uggs-at-the-age-of-5 mean. I remember talking with a group of moms at a Kindergarten function about how cut throat things were getting amongst a group of girls. I remember smirking inwardly when the mother of the meanest girl vehemently agreed that things were getting out of hand, and then it hit me. There are five of us talking. None of us thinks our daughter is the mean one. That means at least one of us is wrong. Is it me?
My daughter was 5 at the time. She loved Caillou, the color pink, sippy cups and talking ad naseum about babies. Her tiny legs were still a little bowed and she looked more like a smurf than a human being. She’s the one telling me that these girls threaten to kick her out of their club, that she can’t be their friend if she doesn’t play pretend shop with them. The teachers have never had any complaints about her behavior. No moms have ever approached me. Clearly, my daughter is the nice one. Right? To be honest, I’ll never know for sure.
But what I do know is when I really thought about it, my reaction to her complaints about the other girls in school had been wholly inappropriate. Oh, who am I kidding, I was more than inappropriate. I was mean.
My daughter is really smart, naturally beautiful and unnaturally confident for her age. So when she would come home and rattle off all of the girlie infractions for the day, I would categorically point out that the aggressors were not as bright, or wise or cute as she was. So duh — that would explain their behavior! I’m smacking my forehead just thinking about the things I probably said to try and make her feel better:
“Her mom said WHAT about wearing Crocs in the winter? You have seen her mother right?”
“Oh please, the next time she says she’s not your friend, then grant her the wish. Just pretend that you no longer see her. That she doesn’t even exist. Do it for the whole day until she apologizes!”
“She still can’t read The Cat in the Hat so she snatches it from you every time you read it? Well, next time tell her to S-C-A-T and wait for her to catch on”
In trying to protect my baby from these attacks, I almost created a monster. The correct response from me should have been “Tell her not to speak to you that way. And if that doesn’t work, tell the teacher. And if that doesn’t work, tell me. I’ll handle it with the parents.” So now, I am careful to give age appropriate advice and have learned to play devil’s advocate, and ask pointed questions to gather all the facts before weighing in.
Me: “What exactly happened before she snatched the book and called you a dodo head?”
Light of my life: “I told her that reading wasn’t her strength and if we wanted to have time to read before snack, that I should read the book to her”
Me: “Ok, then you kinda had that one coming honey.”
Is your daughter dealing with mean girls? Tell us.