Bullying....specifically as it relates to girls - Page 3
my daughter was bullied a bit last year in 4th grade. It was her first year back in school after being homeschooled since kindergarten. Some girls were mean to her and kept keeping her out of things on purpose after they were supposedly friends and were just overall rude. I had a talk with one mother, she went to our church, but it finally eased off and now the three girls don't even talk that much, they all have other groups of friends. So it just got better on it's own.
now that dd is in 5th grade and kinda settled with her puberty (some of her classmates havent yet. it usually happens around 11) i have rediscovered the world of bullying.
i really think we use this term very, very loosely. we use the term bully as a catch phrase for everything. when really it isnt bullying. mean girl and bully are not the same thing.
amongst girls there is bullying and then there is cattiness. but calling the mean girl a bully i think is unfortunate. mind you doesnt mean the mean girl cant be a bully, but just assuming because she is mean, means she is a bully is wrong.
so i feel we need to separate the two. esp. since we are talking about girls.
i feel its all about hormones and the emotional changes of puberty. girls just get horrible at around 3rd to 5th grade. all that is there right from the beginning in K, but in 3rd the cattiness really peaks.
and honestly girl scout does not really help with that. its mostly girls trying to figure themselves out. the mean girl in second grade to dd was one of her girl scout friends who was going through a lot of mood swings. now there was a bully - who did horrible things including a lot of physical things like grabbing the nipples and twisting them hard, but the girl scout friend was mean - but not a bully.
3rd 4th grade saw a huge peak of mean and catty girls. almost everyone was that including my dd. while my dd pointed fingers at others calling them mean, the other kids pointed fingers at my dd calling her mean. 3rd and 4th grade us parents had to be involved a lot in our dd's lives. we have had a lot of meetings. this is not bullying. it is mostly coping skills and trying to figure themselves out. figure out their role on the play field. meaness includes catty remarks, you cant play with that person, etc. this is NOT bullying.
last year dd made one of her friends cry for days till teh mom came to me. i knew something was up but dd wouldnt talk about it. the girls were having a hard time communicating. dd is the type who needs space away from the person to heal and her friend was the type who needed to talk about it now and clear things up. so a clash of personalities. before the 4 of us met over icecream both the mothers tried showing our dd's the world through each other's perspective. i told dd that asking for space is fine, but be reasonable about it. dont take too much time.
3rd and 4th grade was a mess. my dd was a mess. her classmates were a mess.
5th grade - wow what a change. most of the girls are so much mature and the cattiness is mostly gone. they are more empathetic and understanding.
the mom wanted to meet with us recently too again but i said its time the girls figured this out on their own - and it has worked well so far.
someone asserting themselves is not a bully imho. its more about trying to figure one's social roles out. and that can happen in K. some kids are more outgoing than the others. ugh. in K dd adored one of those girls and followed her around. the girl bossed the other kids around. but dd soon learnt it wasnt fun always having to follow, and the girl fell from the pedestal dd had put her on.
what has really worked for dd - is to be able to see through others perspective. when dd called another girl mean - i didnt jump on her bandwagon and call the other girl mean too. i dissected what dd meant. and it usually meant the girl wanted everything her way and wouldnt give dd a fair chance. so i told dd she would have to stand up and say her piece so her friend would know dd wanted to do stuff too.
there was a breakdown of communication. in fact one thing i found absolutely brilliant. most of the girls took on two names. the mean girl name and the nice girl name. the problem was they did not want to break up their friendship, but they didnt know how to work together. dd has been through so many breakups.
so we have to be a little more sympathetic to every single kid. not just our kid - but the kids around them. 5th grade is such a huge change it blows my mind.
so be careful when you use the term bully. are they truly bullies or are they just trying to navigate the social rules.