Whether you agree with it or not, most people raise their daughter differently to their sons.
This means that for some of our daughters, they face ‘mean girls’ on a day-to-day basis.
Mean girls are basically girls who go out of their way to make your daughter feel like she isn’t wanted, accepted, or ‘normal’. They’re bullies, but they use more psychological methods than the ‘rough and tumble’ variety, and this can leave girls struggling to cope.
From excluding your daughter at school, to name-calling, embarrassing her, and spreading rumours, here are some of the things you can do to help your daughter rise above it all.
1. Give Her Love And Acceptance
One of the biggest things that these mean girls work to convince their targets of is that nobody cares about them, nobody likes them, and nobody wants them.
So, your job as a parent is to ensure your daughter feels totally loved and accepted at all times. Family is safety, but make sure she has a network of people who aren’t related to her, like your friends and family friends, who celebrate her for the amazing person she is.
2. Introduce Her To Adults Like Her
Most of the time, the things that girls are bullied about from mean girls are pretty basic. Maybe they really like art and drawing, maybe they enjoy theatre, perhaps they’re a music lover, or really into sports. Whatever it is, you need to make your daughter understand that her unique interests are a part of who she is.
One great way to do this is to introduce her to other teenagers, and even adults, who share similar interests. It can be good for girls to see that it’s not wrong to be different, and there are other great ladies out there just like her.
3. Don’t Tell Her How To Fit In
One of the worst things that parents can do when their daughters are struggling with mean girls is to give them advice on how to better fit in. There’s no reason that your daughter needs to change who she is to be acceptable for others, and encouraging these thoughts only lead to more problems down the line with her establishing her own identity.
Instead reaffirm with her that people are different, that differences should be celebrated, and that there’s no need to change just because a small group doesn’t like you.
4. Share Your Own Story
If your daughter is anything like you, it’s likely you also had issues with mean girls during your youth. Sharing your story with your daughter is a great way for her to see that, even though her interactions with these girls can feel overwhelming, they’re only a small part of her life.
It also helps her see that it is definitely possible to overcome mean girls, to get on with your life, and to be successful, regardless of what they might have said to the contrary.
5. Don’t Let Her Feel Like A Victim
A victim’s mindset is a difficult thing to get out of, but for your daughter butting heads with mean girls shouldn’t make her the victim.
Make sure your daughter knows how strong she is, and that she is so much better than these girls who seek to drag people down. She should see that her own happiness should come from inside her, not from making others feel worse about themselves. In this way, she isn’t a victim at all, and it’s all the more possible for her to move on with her life.
6. Talk To The School
If these mean girl interactions are happening at your daughter school, or any other place where kids are supposed to be monitored, like in a club or team, talk to the head of the organisation about it.
At the end of the day, this stuff is bullying, no doubt about it, even though it’s usually a little more subtle. Still, if it’s hurting your daughter, it might be hurting others, and its worth going to the source. You could even talk to the parents of the other girls if it’s really bothering you, to see if you can get to the root of the issue.