Mean girls are a sad fact of life; and if she hasn’t already, your daughter is going to encounter mean girls more than once growing up.
Girls start this mean girl act as early as kindergarten, but definitely by 3rd grade you need to have a conversation with your daughter so she is equipped with a few facts. Teach her that at her roots, a mean girl is an insecure girl. Mean girls tear another girl down to make themselves feel better in life.
With boys it is more common to see physical bullying; but girls use more subtle relational tactics – whispers and gossiping, excluding someone from an invitation, etc. I think it’s important to help your daughter understand how to respond. While she doesn’t have any control over what a mean girl says or does, she can control her own response. Jesus was constantly targeted by the “in-crowd” of Pharisees during his ministry on earth. The Pharisees wanted to trip Jesus up, to embarrass him in front of the crowd. They spread rumors about him and mocked his lifestyle, but Jesus never took the bait.
Again, mean girls, at their roots, are insecure girls. So help your daughter understand this truth and walk her through how we should respond to people who are hurt and broken. Jesus offered grace to the hurting and the broken and so can we.
The more we can pour into our daughters that they are beautiful inside and out and perfectly loved by us and by their heavenly Father, the more armor they’ll have to protect them against the attacks of mean girls. For more on handling specific mean girl situations, listen to episode #133 of Wire Talk.
Keep affirming and encouraging your daughters this week, mommas!