So your daughter walks in, hands you her phone to look at and cries,
"MOM! They are doing it again!"
Pranking, comments, teaming up, taking pics of texts and showing others. Trying to alienate your girl. And now you are pissed. I mean really mad. So much that you want to walk into that school and go all WWE on this girl, her little friends and her little dog too.
Calm down mama and listen up. I was there. This is probably the best thing that could ever happen to your girl. She is now presented with an opportunity. This is what my monsters hate me saying every time they learn something new
(DRUMROLL PLEASE).........this is a :
LEARNING MOMENTAnd you hold the power, mama. You are the solution. It is now your responsibility as her mom to do right by her. And only her. What will you do? As if we were in the middle of "Let's Make a Deal" here is what is behind Door #1:
#1. You and your girl talk poorly about this "mean girl." You talk about how awful the parents must be. You force her to text the girl and tell her she is mean and awful and needs to stop. You tell her that you, her mom, are going to text this girl and tell her that she is mean and it needs to stop. You may even want to alert the school. (And if this needs law enforcement etc...by all means.) You consider calling the mom and telling her how mean her daughter is to your girl. You call or text all your friends and tell them your girl is being bullied.
OR Door #2:
#2. You support and guide. It is your time to shine as her mom and take this fragile moment and give her a gift. The gift of communication. The gift of expression. The gift of not holding in feelings. The gift of when she is older and married, she will be able to communicate successfully with her spouse. (HUGE!) This is not about the mean girl, this is more about guiding your girl and teaching her about self worth, confidence and how to love herself! That it's ok to say, "you hurt me."
Which door will you pick?
We went through this in our home a few times and for months the response she would give me when encouraged to use the "I statement" Framework:
"That's stupid mom, nobody does that." "It's weird."
Then it happened. One day she hopped in my car all happy and said,
"Mom, (Girl) and I had a convo and talked it out. But before she started I told her I was sorry for my part and I listed 3 things that she did that really upset me."
I was literally gripping the steering wheel so tight that I had white knuckles and my arms were locked out. Tears started to well up. She did it. They did it! They had a conversation between 2 girls without the guidance of teachers, parents or friends. I was so proud of these "Young Women."
So mama, the mean girl thing ain't so bad if you chose Door #2. It's not the easiest way but it's definitely the way to go. I can tell you this took years for me to figure out. I get continuous help from my mama mentors (see definition below), my hubs and my 2 kids. It helps having an older brother especially when he thinks she is right and that's not often!
Mama Mentor- A mom who has older kids than you. One that is brutally honest and will give you advice and not make it seem like your issues are unimportant because they are younger. A mom who keeps you grounded and helps you realize what's most important when raising children. (KEEP THESE MAMAS CLOSE!)
We will get through this together! I am waiting for my medal that says:
We've got this!
PS- I am not a Dr., Therapist or can diagnose. I am just a fellow mom trying to navigate teen-hood and am willing to share the good, bad, ugly AND FUNNY! And hey.... I am not perfect and neither is my girl! These girls can help one another change patterns and hold each other up. Where one is weak the other is strong!