Mean girls are bullies, and I’m not letting my daughter become one.
My daughter has changed so much since she started school just eight short weeks ago. She’s become such a big girl, so independent, so willing to try new things. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Until she starts demonstrating potential mean girl behaviour, and then I completely freak out. Take this for example.
The other day we were driving to art class and she was chatting to me about her day. We’d attended a birthday party that weekend and Caterina claimed the birthday girl didn’t invite another girl because the girl acts “too much like a baby” by doing “baby things”. I asked for a little more information but she was vague.
Then she said, “So I told her why she didn’t get invited, but she was sad, so I pretended I was joking.”
I madly tried to process all this information. Caterina and I have never had the chance to discuss what to do in a situation like this. I think I'd assumed that because I am an exceptional mum (hey, I can hope) she would automatically know what to do. I felt really bad for this little girl and imagined how she felt when Caterina decided to skip over and blurt this whispered information out to her, followed by a very clumsy attempt to make her feel better.
"Do you think you did the right thing by telling her," I prompted, hoping my daughter already knew where she had gone wrong. She did. Phew. Another mean girl, thwarted.
"She got sad so I pretended I was joking," she said again.
"Maybe next time, don't tell anyone mean things other people say about them," I suggested.
"Unless they ask me to," she counted.
"No, actually, never, because imagine how you would feel," I explained.
She sat in silence, hopefully processing my brilliant advice but probably becoming distracted by a sticker she was trying to peel off her water bottle.
I am so determined to ensure my daughter doesn't become a mean girl and I know exactly what steps to take to prevent it. This was my first foray into it and I think I did pretty well. I didn't gasp or slap my hand over my mouth. I kept it casual. Here's what I have decided to do going forward.