Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mean Girls

We've all known those mean girls. You know the ones I'm talking about who decide they're better than everyone else and make it their life goal to torture you in high school. But you know what I've learned? Mean girls are just for high school any more. It's starting much, much younger nowadays and honestly, its not just children. It's adults too. WOMEN who should know better but either don't or don't care.

Last week I brought my girls to the park. My oldest is five and we just stepped foot into the park when two little girls started in on her. Well, let me rephrase that. It was primarily one little girl but the other was her shadow. You could tell that the second little girl only wanted to make the first little girl happy and even though you could see the discomfort in being a bully, she did it anyway. My daughter runs to one of the play sets excited to see little girls, tells them hi and tries to climb the ladder. The first little girl stands in her way so she can't get up. She grabs the second little girl and pulls her over so she's helping block the way from my daughter and then she tells my kid, "You can't come up. This is ours and we don't want to play with you." By then I'm getting hot. I turn and see two mothers gabbing away on the other side of the park paying NO attention to what their daughters are doing. As a mother, I struggled at first with letting my daughter try to take care of it or not, because the fact is, I can't always be there for her. When it comes to my kids, I can't stand by the wayside. So I tell the little girls that that my daughter can climb up, that what they're doing isn't nice, and that they need to move. They do but continued their little talking and whispering and tried a few more times to keep my daughter off certain toys at the park. Soon they realized I wasn't letting my eye off them and stopped. During the whole thing I'm sitting there thinking THEY'RE FIVE! I don't get it. I never would have even thought to do that at five. I just wouldn't have. I watched the "alpha girl" lead the other little girl around and I had flashes of them ten years from now walking around high school making the lives of other little girls who just aren't cool enough in their book, miserable.

So after this the thoughts started floating around in my head and I realized that now, at twenty-nine years old I know women like this too. It honestly breaks my heart. Let's be honest for a minute. As women we have a lot to overcome anyway. Our lives aren't easy. Why do we make it harder on each other? Why is there this competition when what we could really do is support each other and help bring one another up? I just don't get it. Even though I did have female friends in high school I had ten times more male friends and those friendships were easier. I LOVE the girlfriends I have, and the friendships I've kept over the years with them but nine times out of ten, I spent time with the guys because there just wasn't that drama.

Anyway, I could go on all day about this because it really, really bothers me, but I'll stop now before I bore the heck out of everyone. LOL. Do you have any mean girl experiences, as an adult or child? How do you handle it as a parent when it's directed at your child? My daughter starts Kindergarten in August and I'm just scared to death!


Sophia Danu said...

You are right Kelley. Everyone knows someone like this. The problem with those mean girls is that they are insecure and unhappy with their own lives (yes even at 5) - maybe their parents are mean to them or don't pay attention to them and so they try to make themselves feel better by picking on others.

It doesn't make it right but the truth is those are really unhappy people underneath all that meanness. I just try to pray for people like that and if they mess with my daughter, I just tell her to give it right back. Probably not the best parental advice, but I always encourage her to be sweet and kind until someone messes with her.

Unknown said...

As a mom I can totally relate to your blog. And I would have done the same thing, saying something to the children and if that didn't work I would have marched my butt right over to the mother's and said something to them. Nice to see they were paying attention to what their children were doing.
My son was bullied in 1st grade by a new kid to the school. I had to speak to the teachers and finally the kids mother. Turns out he was dealing with the loss of his father. Now both are in college and best friends! So some do grow out of it.

Anne Rainey said...

I'm sorry she had to deal with that already. It really does suck. I have one child who is very outgoing and another is extremely shy, a loner. They've both had their share of mean girls. My oldest tries to not let it bother her, but my youngest seems to move deeper into her shell. I hate all of it.

We're dealing with a situation right now that I can't discuss online. All I can say is it involves one of my kids and her friend. They've become targets. There's been vandalism and yes, police have been called. I'm counting down the days until school's out. I'm so sick and tired of the bitches of the world thinking they can do whatever they want and there won't be consequences. All I can say is 'you reap what you sow'.

Liane Gentry Skye said...

Life is simply too short to spend it making others miserable. I never did get that. Maybe it's an attempt to elevate a fragile ego, but either way, inexcusable!

One of my sons who has autism truly takes a beating from "mean girls", but you know what? The boys are just as bad. So does my daughter because she has brothers who have autism. If I hear the word *retard* hurled at one of my kids one more time...grrrrrrrrrr.

Bonnie Edwards said...

It happens with adults, too! I mean where the heck do people get off thinking this is acceptable behavior?

I always cringe at the show The New Adventures of Old Christine...b/c she has two such women in her son's school.

My kids had a girl who wanted to start a "club" and I had a long talk with dd1 about *not* joining. She did, watched their behavior a couple of times...then told them off and left. Never did like that kid (her Mom defended her all through school - apple doesn't fall far and all that!)


Kelley Nyrae said...

I think this is something most of us can relate too.

Sorry about your situation, Anne. Hope it gets resolved soon.

Sophia, I hope this doesn't come off wrong and I'm really not a totally negative person. LOL. I agree that a lot of it is because some people have low self esteem but I also believe some people are just plain mean. I hate thinking that way but I do. I'm not saying that was the case at ALL with those little girls, I mean, they're five but other situations, I think some people just enjoy hurting others.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Sorry about that, Liane. I feel for you. I hate it when people hurl that word around.

Anne Rainey said...

Liane--grrr, is right! That would have me seeing red, I'm afraid!

Bonnie--There were mothers like that at my daughter's school. I went to a class party when she was in Kindergarten once and tried to make friends with a few of the other mothers. This is hard for me because I'm very shy! The one mother just gave me this dirty look, then turned and went back to talking. The other mothers followed her lead. I felt so embarrassed. I just stood there, I didn't know what to do. Needless to say, it was the last time I talked to ANY of the mothers. After that I decided to keep going to school parties, but I went for my daughter, not the mothers.

Regina Carlysle said...

I sooooo completely HATE this CRAP! I went through it and so has my daughter. Because of the 'mean girl' stuff my daughter retreated to her room for two years and graduated from high school early. She didn't date, didn't go out, nothing. She was just over it at a very early age and it sickens me that her entire teenage years were such a train wreck. Like Anne's youngest, she is very much a loner. Quiet and very 'within herself'. College will be better. I hope. I told myself during the ghastly middle school years that high school would be better. Um...was I ever wrong.

I CAN say I've gotten older (much I've learned to hold my friends very close. I now have an appreciation for those women who are so full of support and caring. I guess we grow up and learn from experience to value our friendships even more.

Molly Daniels said...

Some of the 'mean mommies' I've witnessed have all had the same 'I'm Entitled' attitude. Steams me up just to think of it.

So sorry to hear that about your daughter, Anne. I'll keep your fanily in my thoughts and prayers.

Mine occured in jr high, and my daughter has had a slightly less traumatizing experience, but then her self-esteem is much higher than mine was at 14. I keep telling her to hang in there, hold her head high, and next year will hopefully be least, that was my experience.

I just wish I'd had the courage to TALK to someone; but at 14, you think you're the only one with the problem, and that if you tell, it will make things worse. If I'd spoken up, or found the courage to defend myself, things might not have been so bad. But I'm a stronger person because of it.

Hahaha...WV is 'dedebrat'!

Leigh M. Lane said...

I wish I had some advice for you, but unfortunately I fell victim to "mean girls" throughout my childhood. It was like I had a bull's eye on my forehead that said, "there's your target; she's a sweet, sensitive one." One thing I can say is that I grew up a very humble and empathetic person for it all....

I find myself--at 34--once again the prey of mean girls among my "peers." They are fellow romance and erotica authors who, for whatever reason, have made it their personal goal to smear and destroy the relatively new e-press, Ravenous Romance, the press for which I write. These "girls" have been vicious. A good example of their reprehensible behavior can be found here:

Aren't we all in the same boat? Don't we all rise with one another's tide? How can one judge an entire company on one or two works? Don't all companies have to start somewhere? I think my defensiveness is due; with that, I would like to offer the literary side to Ravenous Romance:

I wish we all could just get along. "Tit for Tat" is so much better of a strategy, when both sides are playing a positive game....

Minx Malone said...

OMG this is insane. At least when boys fight they tend to just hit and get over it. The next day they interact as if it never happened.

Girls are another story. I hated high school and I'm kind of glad I only have 2 boys at this point. I don't think I'd have any helpful advice for a daughter if I had one. Other than "just get through it and college is much better".