I think we all know what/who I'm talking about when I say "mean girl." You know, that girl that creates drama for fun, shunning one girl, then getting more girls on board with her, all so she can feel better about herself? So she can feel some kind of twisted social power? The girl who creates divisions, bad feelings, and self doubt in others?
She's a bully. And you don't want you child to be involved with her, but chances are you child will be involved with her at some point.
My oldest had a friend like that, still would be friends with her, I'm sure, but by the grace of the cosmic waitress this 'friend' changed schools this year, so she is no longer playing with my daughter's head. Consequently my daughter is now socializing with a wider group of girls, the former cliques seem to be less well defined, and she is now more friendly with more people.
Yesterday, my youngest met a mean girl. And my youngest is only three. I really could not believe what I was seeing, and it occurred to me that what I was witnessing was the making of a mean girl.
Okay, I'm not going to blame it all on the mother, I'm sure some of it is the little girl's innate personality and her zodiac sign or what not, but I was really kinda blown away by what I saw.
Her mother had the foresight to bring a bag of the little girl's toys to her older sister's softball games (score 1 point for the mom), and they had these laid out on a blanket. Another little girl was playing with her and her toys, but when my girl went over and asked if she could play the mean girl looked at her and said "No!"
My girl, not one to be deterred, tried again, this time picking up one of the toys. The mean girl did not like this at all. She took the toy back, and said "No!" again. I had my girl come sit with me.
Of course she was not satisfied with this arrangement. She tried again, only to be rebuffed.
I listed to the mean girl tell the other girl that "we don't like her." I watched her tell her friend "you can play with this, but SHE can't." I watched her tell my girl that she was strong, but my girl was not, that she could climb up the bleachers, but she could not. (The fact that my girl could hoist her self up onto the bleachers as quickly as she did, didn't seem to rattle her). I watch the mother ignore it all, acting as though this was perfectly acceptable behavior: to not be friendly, to not share, and to gang up against another, younger girl.
I watched the girl tell her mother, "Go get my chocolate milk," and the mother get up off the bleachers, walk over to the cooler, and get her the chocolate milk. I watched her not say thank you to her mother when she came back with it.
At one point I did watch her mother suggest that her girl share with my girl (score 2 points for the mother). Then I then watched as my girl chose one item after the other, only to have the mean girl say each time, "No, that one's special," until there were one or two items left. The mom did not say a word, just let the mean girl rule her little greedy kingdom.
Who the fuck does that?
At one point my girl stood up and stomped her foot and said, "Ah, I am getting so angry at you!"
I did not hesitate to tell her, "Good job using your words, sweetie" as loudly as was acceptable. Wtf, lady? You're daughter's a little tyrant, and you think it's cute? Don't you see you're breeding a bully?
And yes, kids can be mean, and parent's can't control everything, but isn't it our job as parents to encourage them to be kind, to share, and to learn the social skill necessary to get along with others? There are a more than 7 billion people on this earth, with more being born every day. Let's work on cooperation and negotiation and the skills necessary to solve all the problems that this world presents to us.
Oh, who am I kidding, I wanted to slap that little girl across the face. No, not really, that is a gross overstatement. But I did want to give her one long-ass time out. And take away her dessert.
And her mom? Final score? Two - infinity, you lose.