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Posts Tagged ‘mean girls’

Starting School Without Being Afraid Of Bullies

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Starting School Without Being Afraid Of Bullies

Teaching children proper protocol for handling school bullies is a complex issue today. Increasingly, parents find themselves trying to protect their children from bullying personalities and worry about their child’s safety. Ultimately, it is children who must cope with the difficulties of exposure to unacceptable bully behavior. Parents need to reduce their child’s fears before they can help them avoid problems with bullies.

There are several points to consider so children can start school without fear of bullies:
1. Address children’s’ fears
2. Provide safety guidelines
3. Clarify Children’s’ Options
4. Teach Bully Awareness

1. Address Children’s’ Fears
The most important aspect of providing a child with quality of life is to help them live with less fear. Discuss their fears openly and with understanding.

2. Provide Safety Guidelines
Children need to know when they are in danger. Most important is their need to know how to protect themselves from bullies.

3. Clarify Children’s’ Options
When they are exposed to a bully, children need to think first about their options. Help your child to know the options available to them to protect themselves and to insure their safety.

4. Teach Bully Awareness
Children need to be sensitized to aggressive behavior that goes beyond the bounds of normal. They need to be taught to identify what constitutes bullying.

Reducing the sting of the fear of bullies helps children recognize their own strengths. Help children to build a healthy sense of self-confidence and self-identity. They do this by reinforcing their sense of community and affability with others in their social networks. Children who build strong bonds of friendship are less likely to be targets of bullies. The axiom, “There is safety in numbers,” should be pointed out to children so they understand the importance of their personal friendships as a unifying part of their lives.

Inevitably, every child faces a bully sooner or later. Preparing a child for this possibility may prevent a serious situation. Expose them to books and venues that reinforce their preparation for a bullying episode. Less fearful, self-confident children who are fully oriented to their options may still recoil from a bully. With regular support and awareness, children will survive a bullying episode and know the proper methods to protect themselves.

It’s important to point out to children that a school bully is just a child like them. The menacing behavior of a bully is less dangerous when the bully realizes other children are prepared to isolate aggressive behavior and report their bullying. A bully may not express concern for his/her unacceptable behavior. When consequences for that behavior are consistent, bullying can be less of a problem.

 

About the Author:

 

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of full time nanny.

She welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84 @ gmail.com.

 

Mean Girls Cliques

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

“Tween” girls, those who are between 9 to 12 usually form some kind of an informal group or club.  Adults call it a clique, a french word for coterie, which means a close very exclusive and selective group of friends and members.  There is often the odd girl out of the group or favor of the Queen Bee and her troop of Wannabees.

The popular girls are not necessarily the nicest and most welcoming into the clique.  They may not even be the most well liked.  They are, however, the most feared and obeyed.  Girls of this age can be extremely cruel in the way they exclude those they feel are social liabilities or deserve to be punished.

Tween and teen girls need to belong to a group or clique. It is scary to be alone and they want to fit in. but at what costs?

Girls need to belong

During this vulnerable time of changing hormones and transitions in middle school, most girls feel too vulnerable to face the word alone and need the security of the group to provide strength and a sense of belonging.  Much like the playground politics where younger kids learn the unspoken rules of conduct and  who is the ‘head honcho’ this is the way that girls learn what is expected of them, in dress, attitude and performance.

Scary to be alone

When girls find their group and are accepted into the clique, they seem to relax. They know they will have someone to eat lunch with and to call after school. They know that the group will tell them if their hair is too short or the jeans need to be tighter.  In a group, girls can observe boys and giggle about them safely.  Most girls feel too vulnerable to face the halls of school, the mall or life without the protection and guidance of the group.

It is no wonder that many girls will go against their value system and bully others, or at least not speak up when some one is being picked on or teased.  She values her position within the group so much that she will deny her intelligence or superior athletic ability if that is not a chosen standard for the group.

Odd girl out

Adolescent girls are usually insecure about who they are and worry constantly about life and their place in the scheme of things.  They are pretty self centered and find it hard to see beyond their own needs and insecurities.

They tend to take rejection personally and feel that any slight was because of something they did or did not do.  One of the most important things a parent can do is to help the daughter to  look at things through a wider lens. Perhaps Sally could not spend the night, but she still may want to hang out together at the mall.  Help her to see that there are many solutions to each situation, never just one right or wrong answer.

Questions to think about

  • Why do you think it is important to feel a part of the group at this age?
  • Do you think girls are meaner than boys?
  • How could you help your daughter to develop a network of friends?
  • Is it important to be in the ‘popular’ group for your daughter? Why?

Adolescents is a scary time for girls and boys.  Sometimes it feels like the law of the jungle in the halls of a middle school. The more you can model empathy and kindness, the more your child will develop a strong sense of self, no matter what clique or group she is in.  You can do it. I have confidence in you.

Effects of Girls Who Bully Other Girls

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Effects of Girls Who Bully Other Girls

Bullying can take many different forms especially in a society that values technology so highly. Text bullying and online bullies are quite common. In particular, a girl bullying victims will often be much more subtle in the tactics used.

Queen Bees and Wanna Bees

Girls will usually form groups and use these to their advantage, encouraging a group to gang up on one victim. The Queen Bee is the leader and holds the keys of power to the clique. It is she who dictates what to wear, how to talk, walk and befriend.

The Wanna Bees, the other girls in the clique are in fear of disappointing the leader of the pack.  They are eager to share the power and gain favor in the eyes of the other mean girls in the group.

All girls want to belong to a social group and have friends. Queen Bees, the leader of a clique, can decide their fate in school. It is all about power.

Effects of Cyberbullying

Because students prefer to use phones for texting rather than talking, many texts and messages fly through cyber air about who is in and who is out.

One seventh grade girl told me recently, “None of our fights were face to face, we were too afraid the teacher would catch us. It is easier to fight online, because you feel more powerful. You can also be as mean as you want to on FaceBook. It is kind of fun to “dis” somebody.”

Cyberdramas of Girls

If there is a conflict between teenage couples, surprisingly, the girls will blame the girl and want to “punish her.”  In the Phoebe Prince suicide in Massachusetts, even though  the boy and girl were no longer dating, when he started dating Phoebe, she was bullied and attacked.

The groups will usually pick and choose their members and exclude others, sometimes completely at random.

While it is normal for both girls and boys to form social groups and strong bonds that naturally exclude others, it becomes bullying when power plays over individuals or other groups are involved.

Questions on Girls and Cyberbullying – We welcome comments

  • Why do you think girls turn against each other over the attention of a boy?
  • Do all cultures have cliques of girls?
  • Do you remember a Queen Bee from middle school?
  • Why do you think it is important for a young girl to fit into a group?
  • Is cyberbullying more dangerous than face-to-face bullying?

Girls Bully Girls- QueenBees and WannaBees

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Girls Bully Girls- QueenBees and WannaBees

Emma has started puberty early and has noticeably larger breasts in September at the start of sixth grade than she did in June at the end of school.  Other girls notice her popularity with the boys and decide to “punish” her.

They start a campaign of rumors, gossip and exclusion of Emma from all activities where she used to be included as a friend.  Confused and hurt, Emma asks why she is being ignored and shunned.

One of the girls who was a former friend confesses that the only reason Emma is getting attention from boys is because she is “putting out.” She tells her that texts and messages have been going back and forth talking about “When girls have sex, their boobs get big.”

Girls can be very mean to other girls, especially about the rate of body development in puberty.

Big Problems Need Adult Intervention

Humiliated and embarrassed over the lies, Emma decides to talk to the school counselor. Fortunately the school had a caring counselor and administrative staff who called a meeting of the girls involved in the attack and their parents.

After a frank discussion over the natural development of our bodies, the counselor also talked about the need for kindness and empathy.  An anti-bullying program was set in place and parents and students were made aware of the consequences of cyberbullying.

This story had a happy ending.  Many do not.

Cyberbullying May Lead To Depression Or Even Death

In addition to texting lies and rumors, there have been some instances which included posting doctored pictures of a person on the Internet.  When a group of girls decides to turn on someone, they tend to get others involved who agree with the Queen Bee, or the girl with the most power in the group.

Other girls or Wannabees are fearful of standing up to the leader for fear they will be the next target.  They then become either participants in the cyberbullying or bystanders who do nothing to help the victim.

The bystander or witness, who does not at least try to help the victim, may suffer as much or more than the victim. They too may suffer from anxiety, fear, depression and lack of self-esteem.

There Are No Winners In Bullying Situations

A lot of damage can be done via electronic or online bullying. It can be worse than face-to-face bullying because it is can be anonymous or hard to trace.  There are a number of laws being created internationally to make this a crime.

Parade Magazine 8/22/10 Article On Cyberbullies

According to the article in a recent Parade magazine, included in our Sunday paper, laws have been passed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire expanding bullying laws to include digital harassment. Nevada and Louisiana have set up criminal penalties for those convicted of intimidating others electronically.

Missouri, a second offense can lead to felony charges.  Many teens do not realize how serious it is to cyberbully someone they don’t like or disagree with.  Many think it is funny to haze or tease a victim or target until they drop out of school or activities.

Talk Often To Young People About Empathy

Parents and other caring adults need to model empathy and kindness as well as teaching it on an ongoing basis. Parents should also make sure that they talk to their children regularly about cyber bullying.

Helping them to understand that cyberbullying is a crime and offenders will be punished.  What may have started out as a joke or misunderstanding can quickly get out of hand and lives can be ruined.

And if a situation becomes serious or threatening messages are sent, the authorities should be notified.

The more open the lines of communication between generations of caring adults, the more likely they are to come to you to help them solve big problems like cyberbullying and abuse.

You can do it, I have confidence in you.

Bullying Is Imbalance of Power

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Bullying can best be defined as an imbalance of power. The struggle for power usually takes place over a period of time, but can easily escalate into violence and serious harm to both bully and victim.

There may be just one victim, or target, and one bully.  However, as the struggle ramps up, there are usually others involved as “gang or group” members who have chosen sides or innocent bystanders.

Whenever there is an imbalance of power or strength that is either real or percieved there is a potential for the greater power to intentionally threaten or harm the weaker one.

Tough Boys and Mean Girls

There have always been tough boys and mean girls who have enjoyed teasing, taunting and making life miserable for other kids.

Bullying harassment is hard on victim and bully. Empower kids to be kind.

They enjoy showing and demonstrating their dominance over others.  It is often seen in the playground pecking order, of who gets to be the leader and who is chosen for games last .

We used to think bullying could begin at any age but, typically it begins to escalate around the third grade, peaking by about eighth grade and tapering off in high school. We are now finding bullying often starts earlier and lasts much longer.

But now, with more electronic media readily available through the use of cell phones and the internet, bullying has become more dangerous, more devious and often more difficult to detect.

The combination of cyberspace and bullies can be a dangerous combination. The escalation of cyber-bullying can range from mild teasing to death threats.

Cyber-bullying may carry cruelty to new extremes. Bullies are now using electronic media to taunt, tease, and torture others. Blasting is a phrase that has been used to describe a “blast” of private information posted online and passed around to a large group of followers of the site.

Home as a Safety Haven

Children used to come home to escape the abuse of bullies, but with internet and cell phones readily available bullies can take advantage of their prey anywhere, anytime. Text messages, posts to social media sites and instant messaging services can leave a child vulnerable to being victimized 24 hours a day.

In recent years a number of suicides have been report as a result cyber-bullying. The targets or victims of bullying abuse may have been feeling they had no place to turn for help. That suicide was the only way to escape their pain. Many media reports have called this “bullyside.”

Respect for All

Courtesy toward others and respect for everyone is the foundation of a healthy life and a goal to strive for. Our ultimate goal as parents is to teach our children to be good family members, friends, and neighbors, members of the community, the nation and world.

You will want to claim your free report about internet safety today and begin to understand what is happening in your child’s world. Dealing with bullies is never an easy subject to discuss, but  in this new cyberspace, the effects of bullying are life and death.

Be sure to claim your free report on “Is Your Kid Being Bullied?” by putting your name and email address in the box on the side of the screen.  Thank you for belonging to this community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all.

Talk To Your 14 YO Daughter About Cyberbullys Now

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all:

If you are the parent of a 14 year old girl, bless you.  This is a stage and age of drama, drama, drama. They often use a loud voice and tears to get attention and make sure they are heard and seen.  They want to be part of the “in group.”  They want to fit in and have a fear of being out of synch with friends and the popular girls.  If this includes bashing someone on Facebook or Twitter, so be it.  They would never consider themselves as cyberbullys, but many are.

Sometimes girls at this age have difficulty listening to parents, especially moms.  Girls get into arguments with their parents again, especially mothers, over curfews and friends.  There are also lots of squabbles over homework, clothes and helping around the house.  Girls of fourteen love to complain about their parents online to their friends and friends of friends and friends of friends.

Ramifications On Online Posts

Because they lack the control of more mature girls, they may say and do things online that they later regret.  They do not have the experience to recognize the long lasting effects of posting hurtful  and hateful things online.  One young girl I know was angry with her mom because she was not allowed to go to a party.  Ten years ago, there would have been tears, pleading, doors slamming and ultimate forgiveness on everyone’s part.

Instead, this girl went to her room where her computer was (bad,bad idea…keep all computers in an area where there is a chance of an adult walking by) and posted a slam on  her mother’s Facebook account.  She was so angry at her mom that she posted that her mother hit her and abused the kids who were in her daycare.  This was a lie and almost got her mother turned over to authorities.

Think and Pause Before Hitting Send

Even though it is hard to talk to your 14 year old daughter about cyberbullying and online posting, it is imperative that she understand what might happen when you hit send too soon.

In face to face interactions, you can gauge the reaction and modify your remarks, but online it is anonymous.  Once a post is online it is out there forever and ever.  Help your daughter to understand that her quick posts and blasts may be hurting others needlessly.  Help her to see that she could easily become a cyberbully and that is not the kind of reputation she or you want.

I have confidence in you.

Your friend,  Judy H. Wright

14 year old girls are very interested in interpersonal relationships. They may not be aware of dangers online.