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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A fight between 8 year-old 3rd grade girls, best of friends last year until one became friendly with another student, and played with her as well. During a fight about something else, the "mean girl" shouts the aforementioned to her darling, would-never hurt anyone's feelings, friend (my dd, of course. I'm not biased) who just walks away, saying nothing, but angry, and hurt, to be sure. She just walked away and back to play with the "other friend."<br><br>
So, dd and I talked about it (yes, I am not the skinny mom in this story), and I came up with telling the other girl how disappointed she is in her for being so mean and inappropriate. We also talked about the likely real cause of the mean friend's lashing out, but still, it's not appropriate and we do not acknowledge the "but you can only be MY friend" defense.<br><br>
I could use some comebacks for these embarrassing moments for dd. It's happened a time or two, here and there. I know, kids will be kids, etc., but I don't want her to be embarrassed. It's a very body-conscious area (California beach town). I want her to have some not-highly-charged comebacks that can easily roll off her tongue. She's not afraid, she does speak her mind, but, she just didn't have a comeback. I can't teach her to say, "Yes, but my mother is very smart, and was much prettier AND thinner<br>
than your mother when she was your mothers age." Course, that's not entirely true, her mother is really pretty and funny and nice and I like her. The child is likable too, I've had her at my house, she's very bright and sweet, mostly, and engaging.<br><br>
Anyway, anyone have any idea? My dd still wants her friendship with this friend, AND with her OTHER friend, who friend #1 doesn't like and won't play with for their own historical reasons that started in 1st grade. Such DRAMA.<br><br>
I'm listening for the comebacks, or other solutions.<br><br><br>
VF
 

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I think my response would be "so?".<br><br>
How sad for the other kid that at such a young age she has already caught the body-image bug, and good for YOU for talking it through with your DD, and (I hope!) not taking the comments of an 8 year old to heart!
 

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Why would you and your dd want your dd to continue a relationship with someone who is trying to be so intentionally hurtful? I mean, what would be the value of it?<br><br>
As far as responses, how about "So what? I am nice and you are mean!" Just kidding.<br><br>
I think the "so" response would be effective. I dunno if I would have dd respond at all to the meanness and rudeness of the comment, because it likely will only make the girl more hateful.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>veggiemomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9073915"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why would you and your dd want your dd to continue a relationship with someone who is trying to be so intentionally hurtful? I mean, what would be the value of it?<br><br>
As far as responses, how about "So what? I am nice and you are mean!" Just kidding.<br><br>
I think the "so" response would be effective. I dunno if I would have dd respond at all to the meanness and rudeness of the comment, because it likely will only make the girl more hateful.</div>
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yep, I would leave them alone.
 

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"So?" is fine as a response.<br><br>
Or if you want to elaborate... "So? What does my mom's shape have to do with who I like to play with?"<br><br>
"I want to play with both of you. If you don't like her, that is ok. You don't have to like everything and everyone that I like exactly the same. We don't all have to play together at once. We can just take turns. One day I will play with you, and the other day I will play with her."<br><br>
If the other child cannot get over the jealousy with that as a fair compromise... then it is the child's problem. Not your daughter's. Though your daughter may have to learn to deal with her hurt feelings if the friend doesn't want to budge her position of "Play with her and you aren't my friend any more!"<br><br>
Teach your daughter to find the fair, happy medium. She has every right to play with who she wants and stick up for that right in a firm but kind way.<br><br>
A.
 

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Flip side here - Sounds like the mean girl (your words, not mine) is feeling threatened and hurt over the new relationship your dd has.<br><br>
Personally, I would explain to my dd that her actions (not purposeful of course) have caused the other girl to feel left out and that the mean girl (surely you haven't expressed this sentiment to your dd) was lashing out instead of recognizing her feelings and talking about them. I would suggest to my dd ways to mediate the situation so that everyone feels included. Ask her who she has been sitting with at lunch. Who did your dd sit with at lunch everyday last year?<br><br>
What caused the argument to begin with? Why did this girl feel the need to resort to such low comments? Was she feeling completely abandoned and unimportant? Is it truly the case that she doesn't like the new friend - or is feeling like a third wheel and acting out?<br><br>
I'm surprised at the responses......<br><br>
And no - fluffy mommies are not better to hug!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>veggiemomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9073915"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why would you and your dd want your dd to continue a relationship with someone who is trying to be so intentionally hurtful? I mean, what would be the value of it?</div>
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I don't think that she was trying to be intentionally hurtful. I think that she didn't have any better way to say - "I am really upset and feel overwhelmed by these feelings." She's only 8! And the op said that she is othertimes/wise a fun girl.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lab</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9075105"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sounds like the mean girl (your words, not mine) is feeling threatened and hurt over the new relationship your dd has...the mean girl (surely you haven't expressed this sentiment to your dd)</div>
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I'm pretty sure the OP was using that term in a tongue-in-cheek manner, since she described her daughter as the "darling, would-never hurt anyone's feelings, friend" and went on to jokingly deny any bias. I think she was just winking at her mother-hen instincts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
But I agree that it sounds like the other little girl just doesn't know how to express her pain and lashed out with a personal attack, the way many people do. Of course, it's hard for an 8yo to understand that and come up with a compassionate, what's-going-on-under-the-surface reply on the spot. Maybe just a blanket statement like, "I'm sorry you're feeling left out -- I know it's hard to share friends. We can plan to do something together tomorrow, but it's not nice to say hurtful things like that to me when you're angry." (Although, thinking of myself as an 8yo, that would have felt indescribably bizarre to say to a friend and I'm not sure I could have brought myself to!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>suzylou</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9073252"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think my response would be "so?".<br><br>
How sad for the other kid that at such a young age she has already caught the body-image bug, and good for YOU for talking it through with your DD, and (I hope!) not taking the comments of an 8 year old to heart!</div>
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Yes, it is sad... the Mean Girl, as I feel justified in branding her for the purposes of this thread, and, because she really is. There's nearly a yearlong history with them now, my dd, her and the third girl.<br><br>
Mean Girl is pretty manipulative, and says the most hurtful things when lashing out. It's proven to be an unfortunate pattern, and I have always coached dd in how to respond with an eye toward preserving and improving their friendship. And I still am. My dd is extremely loyal, once she gets attached. And, she has recounted to me some of the ways she has chosen to respond to these lashings-out, and I must say, I am impressed and believe she stands a very good chance of keeping both friends and maybe bringing them together as friends <i>with each other</i> again one day. In the meantime, dd will not suffer meanness toward others, thus dd is very protective of her other friend and will not allow Mean Girl to say mean things about her. Dd jumps right to her defense, not with lashing back, but with wise-beyond-her-years diplomacy: "You cannot be my friend if you are going to say mean things about my other friends."<br><br>
And no, I am not terribly hurt by the remarks of kids for myself. Of course, I'd prefer to be admired, but, cie la vie. I'm okay with it. I have enjoyed being very attractive earlier in my life, and I don't know, it just doesn't bother me to be where I'm at right now.<br><br>
Thanks for the "So?" I told my dd and she immediately busted up laughing, so I think she'll be using it. No blame, no finger-pointing, no explanation necessary, just, "So?" It's perfect. She still loves her friends, and hopefully, she'll keep them.<br><br>
Thanks mamas.<br><br>
VF
 

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my oldest is in 3rd grade - so i hear stores like this often... there is SO MUCH drama at this year now for young girls, its insane.<br><br>
I think the "so?" response is enough to head off the fat vs. skinny debate... but still the girls need to get to the root of the problem.<br><br>
I wish all my dd's dealins were so "innocent" - she's so nieve that last yr her "best friend" convience her to bring a butter knife to school to take a tile out of a wall in their classroom (bathroom? closet? i'm not sure). Whe whole "weapons" discussion was not one i was expecting for a couple more years and thankfully her teacher was suppose to reqest that they be in seperate classes this year (we'll find out thursday).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<span style="color:#008080;">Thanks for the analysis, lab, but these are 8 year-old, third graders. They're pretty hip already, these days, they've all seen the HUGELY popular movie, "Mean Girls," many, many times. I don't <i>have</i> to intone the term "mean girl" to describe the mean girl. I <i>have</i>, however, agreed with my dd that the girl <i>is</i> being mean, and needs, in my words, "to be shut down." That's how I tell her to deal with bullies, manipulators, etc.: SHUT THEM DOWN. In her own way. She is a gentle soul, and does understand that by "shut down," I mean, "make her stop that somehow." I certainly want to teach my dd that I would find such behavior in HER or anyone else mean and unacceptable to me, not that at age 8, she needs to have that pointed out to her.</span><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lab</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9075105"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Flip side here - Sounds like the mean girl (your words, not mine) is feeling threatened and hurt over the new relationship your dd has.<br><br><span style="color:#008080;">The mean girl is threatened and jealous about the other friendship, which is not new. My dd became good pals with both of them at the same time when dd came as a new girl to their school last December. Mean girl is just pulling out all the stops on trying to get my dd to be hers and hers alone.<br><br>
Mean Girl must be held accountable, on a kid scale, for such harsh words, don't you think? She's got to be called out on it in some appropriate way. If I heard my child say anything like that to someone, I would go ballistic! She would not need it explained to her that it was inappropriate or mean; she would not get a hair-tousling and an ice cream cone and a "What's going on with your feelings?" No, she would not. She'd get K-P duty, or something. Punishment time. She, like every other kid in her class, KNOWS that calling another kid's parent "fat" or "ugly" or whatever, is WRONG. If Mean Girl had called another student "fat," she'd have been sent to the principal's office. My dd could have told on her, in fact, but she didn't.</span><br><br>
Personally, I would explain to my dd that her actions (not purposeful of course) have caused the other girl to feel left out and that the mean girl (surely you haven't expressed this sentiment to your dd)<br><br><span style="color:#008080;">(Shh! I've actually said much worse! And my daughter has called her the "c" word: CRYBABY!! ahaha.) "her actions have caused..." WTF? No they haven't. Where'd you get that? My dd is being herself, absolutely perfectly, wanting to be friends and play with anybody she wants to, and Mean Girl is going to have to accept that a lot more graciously.</span><br><br>
was lashing out instead of recognizing her feelings and talking about them. I would suggest to my dd ways to mediate the situation so that everyone feels included. Ask her who she has been sitting with at lunch. Who did your dd sit with at lunch everyday last year?<br><br><span style="color:#008080;">Uh, I don't know. Who? Oh, uh, well, what I mean is, um, yes, well, the kid is a "case" and by that I mean, "mental case," as in, she's got hangups, she's got to be the center of the universe, I guess she thinks if she pushes hard enough and gets mean enough, that my dd and god knows who else, will bow to her wishes, and toe the line. But, see, I don't think it's my dd's problem to handle this Mean Girl's issues, it's the Mean Girl's problem that maybe she and her own mom and dad need to help her with. I can't encourage my dd to treat this Mean Girl like she's a helpless baby bird who will die without my dd's care. Mean Girl is a strapping, healthy, beautiful, smart, confident young girl. She's just NOT the ONLY girl my dd wants to play with, and she can expect to be rebuked if she calls people's loved ones names. That is not socially acceptable. Dd is doing her a huge service by responding extremely negatively to such behavior.</span><br><br>
What caused the argument to begin with?<br><br><span style="color:#008080;">Mean Girl is jealous.</span><br><br>
Why did this girl feel the need to resort to such low comments?<br><br><span style="color:#008080;">She is learning from popular culture and her parents that it is okay to judge people based on appearance, class, race, etc., and that being a conniving little snot just MIGHT work in gaining a leadership role in the social hierarchy of gradeschool girls.</span><br><br>
Was she feeling completely abandoned and unimportant?<br><br><span style="color:#008080;">Yes, I would say she probably was feeling abandoned and not properly revered, and she didn't like that. I would say she has probably learned via some unfortunate circumstance in her personal life that "it's all about her," and that others should do as she wishes.</span><br><br>
Is it truly the case that she doesn't like the new friend - or is feeling like a third wheel and acting out?<br><br><span style="color:#008080;">Okay, I just realized why your post has irked me. It's because you seem to have taken such a devil's advocacy that it's like you're trying to pin some responsibility on my dd. And that's just wrong. You gotta take my original post at face value, you know? Some kid said something rotten to my dd, unprovoked. If my dd had just said to her, "I hate you, you suck, I like the other girl better than you anyway," I'd have considered that material to the situation and said as much.</span><br><br>
I'm surprised at the responses......<br><br>
And no - fluffy mommies are not better to hug!</div>
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<span style="color:#008080;">Whoa. Says who? Fluffy mommies ARE better to hug if you've got one.<br><br>
Anyway,<br><br>
VF</span>
 

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I think your coaching is great. I love "SO?" I distinctly remember getting in those dramatic 3rd grade twists and turns... weird stuff.<br><br>
I'd like to add to "So?"...<br><br>
"What's your point?"<br><br>
..."And you're clearly nuts, but I still like you!"
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PrennaMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9079846"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think your coaching is great. I love "SO?" I distinctly remember getting in those dramatic 3rd grade twists and turns... weird stuff.<br><br>
I'd like to add to "So?"...<br><br>
"What's your point?"<br><br>
..."And you're clearly nuts, but I still like you!"</div>
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I like those -- or even, "And your point is?"<br><br>
Or, "My mom's way more important to me than some mean, jealous crank!" -- but I guess she wants to preserve the whatever-ship it is, huh?
 

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Okay, I still don't understand why you or your daughter want to continue this freindship, especially given OPs last post. If it were my daughter and the "mean girl" I would advise dd to avoid her. If a "friendship" (can we really call it that, if she is possessive, conniving, jealous, etc) is allowed to continue, there is going to be CONSTANT drama everytime things don't go her way. Why sign on for years of that?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tuansprincess</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9075391"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think that she was trying to be intentionally hurtful. I think that she didn't have any better way to say - "I am really upset and feel overwhelmed by these feelings." She's only 8! And the op said that she is othertimes/wise a fun girl.</div>
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I understand your sentiment, but 8 year olds today are not as they used to be. They can be very intentionally hurtful and mean. They know exactly what they are doing. 8 is the new 14! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Viewfinder</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9079710"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><span style="color:#008080;">Thanks for the analysis, lab, but these are 8 year-old, third graders. They're pretty hip already, these days, they've all seen the HUGELY popular movie, "Mean Girls," many, many times. I don't <i>have</i> to intone the term "mean girl" to describe the mean girl. I <i>have</i>, however, agreed with my dd that the girl <i>is</i> being mean, and needs, in my words, "to be shut down." That's how I tell her to deal with bullies, manipulators, etc.: SHUT THEM DOWN. In her own way. She is a gentle soul, and does understand that by "shut down," I mean, "make her stop that somehow." I certainly want to teach my dd that I would find such behavior in HER or anyone else mean and unacceptable to me, not that at age 8, she needs to have that pointed out to her.</span><br><br><br><br><span style="color:#008080;">Whoa. Says who? Fluffy mommies ARE better to hug if you've got one.</span><br><br><span style="color:#008080;">Anyway,</span><br><br><span style="color:#008080;">VF</span></div>
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Gosh, I didn't mean to irk you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I based my opinion on your first post. In your first you mention that the girl is likeable and sweet. And I did not take your comment about your dd as being tongue in cheek like another poster mentioned. So when I read that first post - I thought - GAH - this lady is totally sticking her head in the sand and thinks her kid is perfect!<br><br>
Plus - you wanted suggestions......<br><br>
Anyway - after having read the post I quoted above - I would probably encourage my dd to cut loose. This girl sounds like one of the girls who trys to control friends. Does she give your dd gifts?<br><br>
Have you read Odd Girl Out? It is a must read for anyone who has a daughter.<br><br>
My dd went through a situation like the one you described. She spent 4th grade in a class separate from her best friend. She made friends with another girl and they were wonderful together. Fast forward to 5th grade and all three girls were in the same class together. My dd was thrilled because her best friend was in the class. So everyday, she waits at the door of the class to sit with her best friend at lunch. She sits with both girls actually, but the friend from 4th grade was really hurt. She wanted everything to be the same and it just wasn't going to be. The problem came when the 4th grade friend started demanding my dd do the same things. Sounds like your situation. But I have to be honest and say that my dd did not try at all to view the situation through the other girls eyes. MY daughter was very matter of fact of the situation (which is the way she tends to be - Goddess love her!) My dd pretty much told her the same things about everyone being friends. Of course my dd couldn't fake it and pretend to feel the same way about the other friend - but she certainly could have been more sympathetic to her.<br><br>
I guess my point is that girls aren't just mean and hateful for no reason. Their actions might be inappropriate and their reasoning might be wacko - but this girl does sound like she is hurting and lashing out. Given your last post - she clearly doesn't know how to work through a healthy relationship and I would probably encourage my dd to find other friends.<br><br>
fyi - my dd and the 4th grade friend are not friends at all anymore. It was a disaster! I even tried to call the mom and talk about it. It ended up involving the entire 5th grade class and they all took sides - it was horrible.
 

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I agree that "So?" is the best response, since the size of moms has nothing to do with the argument.<br><br>
Please don't teach your daughter to respond by saying "fluffy" moms are better than skinny ones. That is just as offensive as saying skinny is better than fat. It's stooping to the same level instead of taking the high road.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lab</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9081427"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">fyi - my dd and the 4th grade friend are not friends at all anymore. It was a disaster! I even tried to call the mom and talk about it. It ended up involving the entire 5th grade class and they all took sides - it was horrible.</div>
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I had something backfire on me like that, when my mom tried to intervene in a situation.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>EnviroBecca</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9082218"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I agree that "So?" is the best response, since the size of moms has nothing to do with the argument.<br><br>
Please don't teach your daughter to respond by saying "fluffy" moms are better than skinny ones. That is just as offensive as saying skinny is better than fat. It's stooping to the same level instead of taking the high road.</div>
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I agree with that.
 
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