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I’m sorry

I’m sorry

May 10, 2007

I hate little girls. There I said it.

Why are they so mean and catty? Boys just aren’t like that. I hate that I am embracing this stereotype, but having 6 boys and seeing all their friends and acquaintances I feel pretty confident making this proclamation.

Today we were at baseball and the non ball playing kids were running around playing, rolling down this big grassy hill. My daughter spied a group of three girls all wearing bright pink shirts, like some sort of gang. They were several years older at least.

And they were mean. They asked her questions just to make fun of her. They told her to roll down the hill and then teased her that they saw her underwear and ran away from her. They called her a scaredy cat and made fun of her cute babyish voice. I didn’t realize they were being so mean as it was happening. I stupidly thought her older brothers who were playing alongside her would have stepped in and said something.

But when I did find out I gave them my evil eye. Which did not seem to phase them at all. What is up with kids nowadays, I say as I shake my cane. I would have been scared by a grown-up throwing me the evil eye.

It broke my heart that kids would be mean to a little girl who just turned four, a baby still who wanted nothing more than to run around the field with them.

I wanted to run up to the ring leader of the group, a chubby girl in a bright pink shirt and matching bright pink elastic waist shorts and yank her shorts down and yell, “I see your underwear.” But I didn’t. Aside from the fact that it would be all sorts of wrong, it probably is against the law. I can see the news story now:

Mother of Seven De-pants Girl

Witnesses say she must have had a break in her sanity, probably caused by all those children. She was clearly delusional chanting that she could see foreign countries, specifically London and France. Witnesses were not sure if any other countries were mentioned. ‘She always seemed so calm and put together. It is shocking.’

As much as I know deep down that my level of sadness is irrational given the incident, I can’t help but feel a bit heartbroken for my daughter. Or is it for myself? This whole letting them grow up shit stinks. I don’t want to cut the cord yet, thankyouverymuch. And while I also realize that it is my own personal baggage coloring this, that knowledge doesn’t make me feel any better.

I want to cry and apologize to her. For all the hurts she is ever going to feel. For all the times when people will treat her unkindly. For all of the times I won’t be able to make it right. For the times I won’t understand. For all the ways that I will inevitably fail her.

For all of it.

my treasure

Posted by Chris @ 11:22 pm  

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Comments

  1. julie says:

    Mean little girls turn into mean bit**y teenagers who turn into mean sad women. I’m so sorry your beautiful sweet girl was exposed to those venomous types already. I dread the day it happens to my daughter and I am deluding myself into thinking it’s at least 10 years away. Looks like it’s more like 2. Now I want to cry.

  2. Karly says:

    Girls ARE mean. I know it will break my heart when that happens to my daughter. Just a few weeks ago my son was told that he couldn’t join a game at the park with some kids and I almost started crying there. Somehow, I don’t think that would have helped his case, though. But, your right. This growing up thing? It sucks.

  3. SUZETTE says:

    KIDS CAN BE SO MEAN
    MY 9 YEAR OLD COMES HOME SOME DAYS CRYING BECAUSE SOME BOY WAS SAYING SHE WAS STUPID
    (YET HE STARES AT HER OTHER DAYS)

  4. Love my sailor says:

    It’s already happened to my sweet 3 1/2 year old. A neighbor kid is mean to her. I want to say this kid is 7 or 8 and unfortuntly is a friend of a more desirable little gal in the neighborhood. My girl thinks that because they played once at so and so’s house or in the court, we are best buddies. But this little deciteful brat had the nerve to “play” hide and seek to ditch my kid. My little one was hiding under a SUV in the court when I went to check on her. The others were sitting on the lawn playing something else. That I think I can lie to the adult tone of voice comes out “oh we were playing hide and seek.” “Oh really?! How nice. Come on honey it’s time to come it.”
    Now I had a long talk about we don’t hide under cars and how “insert name here” is mean and doesn’t play nice. Explained how she made my kid hide and then didn’t come looking for her.
    I would love to complain to parents, but come on, these are the folks renting a place and letting the lawn go to shit. I don’t think they care much about some silly woman’s worries. By this point in the kids life, she isn’t going to change much either. I just keep mine away from her.

  5. Grim Reality Girl says:

    And then there are the nice kids. She will learn sense the mean ones. She will learn to ignore them. You are raising her to be strong. She will choose wisely and will let taunts and teases roll off of her…. and then you will have a sensative son who will have his heart broken…. oh wait! That’s my life!

    It hurts us so much more than it hurts them! Hang in there!!

  6. Jean says:

    This, so far, is one of the hardest parts about parenting. I’ve had this happen to my kids at two, and at twenty-two. And, if I’m absolutely honest, they’ve probably been on the giving end of it as well as the receiving end of it.

    Also, while this devastates me when it happens to my kids, my husband can pretty much shrug it off as part of growing up.

    Jean

  7. Owlhaven says:

    This was one of the things that played into us deciding to homeschool. Our oldest dealt with all sorts of clique-ish behavior in first grade. It was so unkind.

    With homeschooling, kids can pick friends who know how to be kind instead of being assaulted day in and day out by the nasties….

    Mary, mom to many

  8. jcn says:

    ergh…i am dredding this too. i have a little girl who is so nice. i’m already seeing other kids not be as nice to her (and she is just about to turn 2). sounds like you handled it well.

  9. Amy Girl says:

    I sooooo hear you on this one. Going through it with an eleven year old right now.

    Why are girls/women so hard on one another? How is it that we can be so united and yet divided?

    At 37 I still don’t get all the games girls play.

  10. elizabeth says:

    I am so glad I am not alone in daily feeling like there IS something wrong with/in this world. I only have boys, and have worried about having a girl for this and many heartbreaking things that I endured. Oh, this so touches my heart strings…

    It is so hard to teach children to rise above that kind of bullsh** and be loving to others’ even while you’re being treated like sh**.

    Boys though - too can be mean to one another, bizzare and rude. My pre-teen was dared to measure his penis - and compare the size with a classmate. He told me and I can not write what I wanted to do to that other kid. My son is open with us and tells us these things - kids THINK they are sneaky (and some parents ARE clueless) - but I am well aware of what goes on. ::sigh::

    Hugs and kudos to you because you CARE about these things, which the world says is “nothing and normal” - -

    ek

  11. elizabeth says:

    Oh, and homeschooling does NOT prevent these types of things from happening - no way, no how…

  12. sarah says:

    My daughter has just started 4yr old kindy and has already been teased and made fun of by some girls because she is short. But she is a toughie and called them on it and told the teacher, all the while yelling at them “I AM NOT A BABY! I AM A BIG KID!!!” But I still wanted to smack them. I hate mean girls too.

  13. Eve says:

    I hate little girls too. I wrote a post about it a month ago when my 3 1/2 year old daughter had a play date over that said “you’re not my friend, only Zoe and Sasha are my friends!” My daughter didn’t even realize this should hurt her feelings. Until this point in her life she only played with her older brother’s friends, and her younger brother, who is 2. She didn’t get it, but I know whats in store for her future.

  14. Marie says:

    I have a three year old, and the same thing happened to her in the playground the other day, and like you I thought my heart broke. But who are these mean girls? Do all girls have this meanness in them? My biggest fear is that my sweet little girl could grow up to be a mean girl. That would really break my heart.

  15. texmex says:

    Giving the evil eyes to the other girls is not worth much, but teaching your girl that what they did to her, is wrong, is capital. It will help her understand. And maybe when she grows up, she won’t be mean in a group!

  16. Merry says:

    The reason we home educate is that our eldest (of 4 girls and none of them are catty to each other) was born with a cleft lip and palate and we wanted to give her the space to learn to be her, so that she would eventually be ready just to look at people who were mean and say “and your point is…. what exactly?”

    She’s about to turn 9 - and you know what? She can do exactly that. Not like little me at 9, who’d been bullied nearly out of existance. I cared what people think; my Fran doesn’t give a monkeys. It’s a comforting thing :)

  17. Kaje says:

    You know what? I am having the same problem at the moment with my daughter who is six. She is starting to realise that not everyone in the world is nice. It is awful. She is a very friendly child and likes everyone to play together however two of her classmates won’t play with her. It makes me so angry to see her get upset over it. She is losing her naivety and I don’t like it.

  18. Kristie says:

    When my daughter was four, she was going through chemotherapy treatment for cancer, and was bald. We went to one of her brother’s baseball practices one evening, and as she played on the playground, two older girls (maybe seven or eight?) made fun of her for not having any hair.

    When she came crying to me, I marched over like a mother bear on crack and LIT INTO THEM. They did skulk away, but afterwards, I felt only partly better for sticking up for my daughter. She was only four, for heaven’s sake, but I also felt embarrassed that I let a couple of snotty seven year olds provoke me into that kind of behavior.

    Kendrie had one other episode where two boys at school made fun of her appearance …. fortunately, the twenty-six months she was on chemo, we encountered WAY more kind, compassionate children. Nowadays, we use those experiences to teach our children empathy (funny, they never seem to have any empathy for one another … but for other kids they often do!) and we’re trying to teach them to stay away from those little shits who can’t be nice.

    You’re right …. it’s dis-heartening to see, but I’d much rather teach my children to avoid the brats, and know that thank goodness, my own don’t (dear heavens, hopefully) ever act that way to someone else.

  19. peepnroosmon says:

    I’m sorry for your little girl, too. Girls can be so mean. I see it starting as early as preschool. The girls in my class (3 year olds) have already started saying things like “you’re not my best friend” and “you can’t come to my birthday party.”

  20. jody2ms says:

    Aww. That just breaks my heart for you and her. Mia has a kind little soul as well, and when other little girls are mean to her, it just crushes me.

    Unfortunatley, you are correct. The sad thing is, those mean little girls grow up into mean, catty women who gossip and know better, but still chose to be hurtful and ignorant. That is why I choose the company of Bill and his friends. Men just don’t act like that.

  21. Brigitte says:

    I’m afraid my own traumatic childhood years will affect my behavior in these situations. Both the boys and the girls were mean to me all through my school years, but I preferred the boys’ style of meanness (if forced to pick). There’s something a lot more honest about a rock thrown at you than the catty emotional toying the girls do.

    I wouldn’t have been able to restrain myself from walking up to those girls and telling them they were horrible little girls, and to stay away from my daughter before their disease spread. Unfortunately, this will probably destroy my own daughter’s social prospects until she’s as outcast as myself, and these days it probably won’t even faze the little snots.

    Rrrrrr, I still have BIG issues from my school days, 25 years later!!!

  22. Jennifer says:

    I’m sorry she (and you) had to experience that. Whenever I see mean little kids I wonder to myself what goes on in their home. My 4 1/2 year old daughter surely doesn’t know how to be mean (except to her little sister of course). I cringe when I think of her going off to Kindergarten and the first time she comes home all upset because someone was teasing her.

  23. Meg says:

    In spite of what happened, this was a lovely post. And being her supportive mama will be what helps her when other girls are like that (and they won’t always be like that).

  24. Not Your Typical Pastor's Wife says:

    Ooooooohhhhhh. I’ve wanted to scratch a few eyeballs out myself. And wring a few necks. And…

    We’ve got someone in our lives that causes an enormous amount of turmoil and I turn into an I-don’t-know-what. I am always amazed at how she has the amazing ability to make me feel INSTANTANEOUSLY that I am right back in 3rd grade. What IS that? And then as I am thoroughly freaking out, I can occasionally get a grip long enough to look at myself. “Just look at yourself, Amy. You. are. a. raving. lunatic.”

    Oh yes, I am SO right there with ya.

  25. jodi says:

    Talk to your boys about what happened. At their ages they likely did not realize what was going on/or how to handle it.

  26. Holli Smith says:

    Oh I so know what you mean! It is so devestating and it totally sucks that we can’t save them!
    The neighbor boy (same age as my son) is so mean and so jealous of my TK. He breaks his toys and he’s really sneaky and tries to get TK into trouble. There is a mud hole at the end of our road where lots of big kids play and TK wanted to play down there so I walked down to make sure it was a safe place and of course they laughed at him when I left. I felt so horrible! Then I told TK that obviously I loved him more than their parents love them because I care if he gets hurt! I know - that was bad but I don’t care!

  27. MaryMargaret says:

    Oh, Chris—I watched a neighbor girl who was a year or two older than my daughter refuse to play with her because her “real” friends appeared. To this day I can remember the look of pain on her little face. It broke my heart. On the plus side, my little girl (now 23) is now a beautiful young woman who is kind, gentle and loving. (well, not on a basketball or tennis court–kicks my butt!) Hang in there. Her heart will be broken on occasion, but she will survive and be the stronger (and probably gentler) for it. I’ll admit–I wanted to smack that child just to see her hurt–didn’t do it, otherwise I might be writing this from my prison cell.

  28. Mary says:

    Oh, that’s so hard. She is so cute in that picture!

    I just know there will be something like this happening one of these days to my sweet and outgoing little girl who is 2 1/2. It always breaks my heart a little when we arrive at the park and she sees all the older children playing and runs in yelling, “Hey kids! Kids! Hi!” It makes me feel sad as I just know one of these days, none of the big kids will give her their begrudging “hi” back and she’ll realize that the whole world isn’t her buddy. Sniff sniff. I want that innocence to stay and not be killed off by some mean kid who thinks it is fun to tease a little one!

    Sorry for the long sad rant!

  29. Nicki says:

    I really can’t comment much. It make me SOOOO angry!!!!

  30. meritt says:

    Welcome to the world of little girls.

    You are going to have your heart broke this way a kazillion times in the next 12 years. You are going to be angry, hurt, sick to your stomach, enraged and sad. You will want to jump in many, many times to ‘help’ or ‘kick some arse’ or even want to ‘call that little girls mother!’

    You should do… none of them.

    Little girls will be hell to each other today and best friends tomorrow. They trade friends and friendships as quick as the wind. They are also resilient.

    When parents get involved it makes little itty bitty things into big drama that would have otherwise played itself out quickly.

    Just be positive and smile and get her mind on other things when little girls break her heart for the day.

    Little girls get over it quickly but MOMMIES? They remember forever. And hold grudges.

  31. Jennifer says:

    I’m so sorry. That’s so sad.

  32. Debbie says:

    I so resonate with you on this one, Chris. It is one of the main reasons I hoped I’d never have a baby girl, and yet knew the minute we conceived our first that I was doomed to this very thing.

    I was made fun of by girl cliques for my first 8 schooling years (private school) and I’ll never forget the pain. I didn’t have the right shirts, the right hair, the right anythings. Guys could be whoever they wanted and it was okay, but a girl had to fit the standard of whoever was in her particular class.

    It sucks.

    I see my daughter and I am so glad we are homeschooling for a few years, yet at the same time I worry about setting her apart like that right off the bat. Will the other kids still accept her when they know she’s “different” from them?

    I wish kids weren’t so cruel. We are all people, and for the most part we actually have so much in common. Dig past our beliefs, our looks, our backgrounds, and inside we have the same feelings, hurts, wonders, joys.

    Sometimes I wonder why we CAN’T just all get along…

    Deb

  33. Heather says:

    This is the reason that I always said I would never have little girls. I was once a little girl and they are amongst nature’s meanest breed. Then, God laughed and gave me a firstborn girl. She’s almost 4 and I have already watched a couple of scenarios much like you described. It’s heartbreaking. I have a post coming up about the same thing because a couple of the other moms at the playground were discussing it yesterday. The one has middle school age daughters and says we have no idea the hell we’re in for. Great. Just great. Your sweetie can play with my sweetie and we won’t allow them to be mean to each other…how’s that sound? :)

  34. Kim says:

    I think what pisses me off more than anything about that scenario is that they were picking on her for no reason, other than they could. I guess it was amusing for them. I’m sure she just laughed along with them, and that breaks my heart.

    I used to suck my thumb when I was little, and I would kind of zone out into my own little world and rub my ear while I was sucking it. On my first day of Kindergarten, I was in my own little world, sucking my thumb (probably needing that comfort since I was away from home) and a little girl stopped and looked me over and said, “What are you doing? You’re weird.” I felt no shame about my coping strategy, or anything really, until that day.

    Like Jody was saying, I don’t have many female friends, never have.

  35. SueFromOhio(nowfromSC) says:

    That is exactly what made our move so hard. My daughter is 9 and we moved her in the middle of her 3rd grade year to a new state/new school. The kids she had been in school with at home went to preschool with her. They understood her quirks and goofiness and it didn’t bother them. Apparently it bothers the kids in South Carolina. She’s sad, I’m sad, we’re all sad and are ready to go back home.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that bratty, catty girls have bratty, catty mothers and will, in turn, have bratty, catty daughters. It’s a vicious “Circle of Bi*ch” thing I don’t ever want my girls to be a part of…thanks for that post!

  36. kelly says:

    I really don’t understand or agree with my own gender a lot of the time. I have a handful of female friends and always have, but I know I can trust them implicitly. Other than them, I really don’t trust other women for all the reasons previously stated by others.

    I agree with those who say that sometimes it’s better to hang out with men, at least you know where you stand with them. They just call you ‘dumba$$’ and punch you in the arm. It’s just….simpler with men sometimes.

    Obviously homeschooling isn’t the total answer to this problem since Chris’s kids are home-schooled. Unfortunately, there are mean kids/people everywhere.

    I have all nieces, I know they’ve already encountered these kinds of girls. So sad.

  37. Another Chris says:

    I had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago. My 4.5 yr old son was playing on the playground while I watched my tennis team’s match. Two of my teammates daughters (older, like 8 yrs) told him “boys not allowed!” and continued to block his path and laugh at him for trying to get through. ARGH! You are not alone here. Your comments sum up what every parent must think at some point. Thanks (as usual) for doing such a great job putting these feelings into words for us all.

  38. Jess says:

    I am so sorry those girls were evil. It does shock me how cruel children can be these days. As parents we want to shelter our kids for all the bad there is out in the world. Who would have thought that some of the bad would be sitting right next to them in class or playing 10 ft away from them on the playground.

  39. Stacey says:

    When I witness this behaviour and my daughter is around, I make sure that I enforce that she NEVER participate in such cruelty to others. I think it goes back to the lack of parenting in our society, but that’s a whole other debate. I like to think I have prepared my daughter enough for the “bad” things that may happen, but I have equally prepared her that she needs to treat others as she would want to be treated. Whether or not it happens, at least I try…

  40. Tina says:

    Oh you SOOOO should have at least said something. The whole letting them grow up thing? Uh-uh. If those girls’ parents are going to tell them how to behave and be nice to each other, the I say, yes, you can go tell those little girls that it’s not nice to talk to other people like that.

    I have two girls and I always talk to them about being nice to others, saying nice things to others and not to call others out when they talk mean like that. My 4 1/2 year old goes through this with this one girl in her preschool and everytime she tells me what happened, I tell her what she should say.

    I believe that you can’t just stand by and let them learn for themselves. Otherwise how are they going to learn the right way in such a cruel world?

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this!!!!! :(

  41. maria says:

    Several years ago when I was picking up my oldest son at day care - he might have been 4 - I noticed that the girls were being especially catty and mean. They were excluding the one boy left in the class. I said something about it to the director and she said that at that age girls are catty and mean and cliquey - it’s “behaviorally” appropriate. She wasn’t making excuses but explaining. It’s sad. Now that my daughter is almost 3 I watch for it - but she has 2 brothers and her teachers report that she prefers to play with the boys - so maybe having brothers will shield her a bit.

    I feel bad for you - I can imagine how upset you were.

  42. Cathy says:

    Unfortunately, it only seems to get worse as they get older. Don’t you just want to go over and put them in their place? Someone should.

  43. Christine says:

    I always turn into the mother to all. I do the evil eye. If that doesn’t work, I do the stand-up (ya’ know, as if you say, “Did you forget that I’m big and you’re littel?”). Still no reaction? I do the move-toward … just a few steps. Are they backing down? Nope? Okay. I stomp on over.

    Just walk up with a “Hi.” That’s it. And I stand there.

    If it turns into a whole keeps-on-being-bad sort of thing, I always leave my kid to play and start asking, “Where is your mom?”

    One time, as a bunch of 14-year-olds were taking over the McDonald’s playground, I got the “You’re not my Mom.”

    “You’re right. Where IS your mom?”

    “I’m not telling you.”

    So, I started in the enclosed playground area, “Would the mother of the boy in the red and green shirt please come here for a moment?” No answers, so I head for the door of the main dining area.

    I’ve never seen kids run off so fast …

  44. chris says:

    without being a traitor to my gender, i apologize. baby girl, don’t be like them. be who you are, sweetie!

  45. CaliforniaGrammy says:

    You know what? That’s part of the life of being a mother. Even when my daughters who are in their thirties and forties and may be having a bad time at the office I feel like going right down to the office and punching her boss out! I never want them to have those miserable times. But then I think of all the wonderful things that has happened in their lives and in mine and they far outweigh the bad! Life is good!

  46. Mama Bear says:

    I agree with you completely! There is a huge difference with boys and their friends and girls and their so-called friends. My first born was a boy. Boys play rough, they get in an argument, one of them throws a punch, they tumble around a bit and it’s all over. The next day, or even an hour later, they are friends again, and it’s all forgotten. My next two are girls. It floored me when they hit elementary school and started playing with other girls. Girls are evil to each other at any age. I also am a substitute teacher in the elementary grades. Girls are different and the way they bully each other is different. My advice to my girls is now to go play with the boys, befriend the boys!
    Some of my best friends from my childhood were boys and I still get along better with the guys. With all those brothers, your daughter should have no trouble befriending the boys and her self esteem will be all the better for it.

  47. Maddy says:

    I’m sorry that happened to your daughter. I have a very sweet 10 year old girl, and sometimes she is too nice. I say that because there are a lot of mean girls out there and she has suffered for it. There are plenty of nice girls, though, so hang in there. But yes, it is a complicated thing for girls, it seems.

    My son doesn’t seem to have these issues with his friends. It’s a different world for him.

  48. nancy says:

    That’s hard, mean little girls are awful. I remember many tears shed for my daughter’s sake back then.
    the last line of your post made me sad- yes, we will fail our children sometimes. and they will fail us. And we won’t be able to help them all the time, but we’ll just keep loving them and it will be enough. Just want to say Happy Mother’s Day, and that you are an awesome mom! thank you for sharing your life with us.

  49. Diane says:

    The longer I’m a mom to a boy, the more I look around at all girls have to go through -with each other, with boys - the happier I am I have a son! Yeah, it’s tough. I was the nerd. Not fun.

    By the way, I love your blog - linking to it!

  50. Angela says:

    Ohhhh, this post hit home. I don’t think your sadness is irrational one single bit. My barely 4-year-old is just getting exposed to the world where he isn’t the axis, and each little hard lesson, breaks my heart. Why can’t they go through life thinking/knowing they are the cutest, smartest, most loved little person in the world? Why do people have to bring ‘em down?

    I grew up with a visible “deformity” and got to see the “loveliness” of all kinds of people from a very early age. Good news is, getting knocked down by others, and picked up by a loving family makes you more compassionate and empathetic, so—it can turn be a good thing. My parents taught me, “it’s not you, it’s them” and that philosophy carries me far, even today. Of course, my older siblings (six brothers also!) taught me to say, “I’d rather have a fat lip than a fat, empty head” and that’s pretty much the same philosophy, only so much more satisfying to say. :)

    I hope more than anything my daughter is never the mean girl. That would truly break my heart.

  51. Lily Calla's Mama says:

    My daughter is 11 and I still feel the same way that you do. It’s heartbreaking, how mean girls can be. And my daughter is one of the few people her age who really takes to heart “treat others the way that you want to be treated” like I taught her. Teaching her snappy comebacks is easy; getting her to use them is not.

    Anyway, don’t lose heart! There are nice girls out there who your daughter will no doubt meet and bond with. Screw the meanies. ;)

  52. LaShawn says:

    I have three boys…no daughters, though I am pregnant so you never know. I couldn’t agree with you more. The people next door have 5 daughters. The youngest is CONSTANTLY mean, catty and awful to my 4 1/2 year old….and this girl is only 5!!!!!

  53. cassie-b says:

    I’ve seen that kind of thing happen - and in our family. I guess no one’s immune.

    Cas
    Your little girl (I assume that’s her picture) is absolutely beautiful!

  54. Susan says:

    I coach twenty 7-9-yr-olds in cheerleading. I *know* how mean girls can be.

    Why don’t they care about the evil eye anymore? Because their parents have made it abundantly clear that THEY as CHILDREN are in charge–not the adults, and that their feelings matter more than others, and that they don’t need to have respect for ANYONE. It’s all about them. The world revolves around THEM.

    I don’t understand what ever happened to teaching The Golden Rule (or remembering it as an adult if you already happen to know it), or when it became cool to encourage kids to be self-centered, inconsiderate and thoughtless.

    Do parents think kids learn to be thoughtful and caring without their guidance? Or are they completely selfish too, so they just don’t care?

    Don’t even get me started. The whole general attitude out there SICKENS me.

    (Oh, but don’t forget! “Kids will be kids!” Let’s not correct them and chance ruining their self-esteem!)

  55. Julia says:

    My Daughter is five and is in SR kindergarten and i can tell you I started early making sure she knows that not everyone is nice and how to handle it… I told her to walk away. And to just ignore them because even though they are being mean if they see her get upset they will do it more because they know it makes her sad…

    I HATE having to tell her this… I think that when kids are this way it is a direct result of how the parents are and how they speak to eachother.

    Julie

  56. Shannon says:

    And you have hit upon the very reason I am deathly afraid of having girls once we have kids. That and the fact that I do not “do” girly.
    Sorry they were mean to your cute little girl. I wish I could say it won’t happen again, but I know how girls are…

  57. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    First of all, your daughter is beautiful Second of all, I agree, girls are very mean. I remember growing up. I was usually the one being picked on. It sucks. I complain sometimes that my 3 year old daughter is too tough for a girl…sometimes I think, good, at least she won’t take any crap.

  58. vmh says:

    I am so sorry for your pain. Unfortunately, as the mom of an 11 year old girl, I know all too well where you’re coming. But I do want to share what I hope will be some words of encouragement: keep your sweet girl beautiful and strong on the inside. Tell her that there are meanies out there and the fact they try to hurt her is not her fault. Tell her that there are lots of great kids, boys and girls,who will like her for who she is. Especially as they get older, kids are drawn to kids who are confident and who they know will treat them respectfully (not to say that she wont still encounter jerks). After three years of what at times felt like we were living in some sort of hellish alternate universe, my girl started middle school and has a group of great girlfriends. And she may not be the most popular, but kids and teachers seem to like and respect her- and she’s happy! I can only cross my fingers that it will continue!

    p.s. I’m a recent reader of your blog, which I think is great- keep telling it like it is!

  59. Gift of Green says:

    The only consolation is that when I think of the most popular girls at my high school, the ones that come to mind are actually the ones that were nice to *everyone*! That’s really what made them so popular. The “popular” girls might have been well liked in their clique, but they were not well liked in general but I know this won’t soothe your soul right now. Has anyone read “Queen Bees and Wannabees”? I never have - wondering if it is helpful for situations like these or is it just pop fluff? (mmmmm, fluuuuffff!) Hang in there Nice Girls - being mean takes a lot of energy. Why waste it on that?

  60. Carol says:

    Yeah, the evil eye doesn’t work anymore. But I bet if you and your daughter had looked at them and laughed your heads off they would have thought twice ;)

  61. geminishadow79 says:

    girls are mean!!! And lets not forget stupid! Thats why I only have two good female friends, I prefer to keep the company of men, (not to taken how it sounds) What makes me sad is that they start being that way so young, and whats worse is my niece is one of those mean girls, and I hate it! I try to teach her differant and so does her mother but you get them in those damn public schoolssss arrggg it makes me so mad!!!! I’m home schooling my little girl when It comes time, for many reason but one of them to try to prevent her from becoming a mean girl,

    OH AND By the way…….where were the mothers of these small bullies when all this was going on!!!!

  62. Kelli says:

    Mean girls are sooooo not cool. I have two girls, ages 8 & 6. My 6-year old is having a particularly hard time. She’s such a sweet girl and just wants to have friends. It really breaks my heart and I’m sad that it happened to your daughter as well. :(

  63. mel says:

    Your daughter is beautiful! My sweet, beautiful, sensitive son had a similar problem with the boys in his preschool class…oddly enough, it was the girls he befriended because they were much nicer to him. He’s been homeschooled for a year now, but still comes to talk about how they were mean to him with tears clouding his blue eyes. Why is the world so cruel? Why has torturing others become so commonplace? Why can’t I just kiss it and make it all better?

  64. LadyWithALatte says:

    Love my sailor wrote:
    “I would love to complain to parents, but come on, these are the folks renting a place and letting the lawn go to shit. I don’t think they care much about some silly woman’s worries. By this point in the kids life, she isn’t going to change much either. I just keep mine away from her.”

    Ironic. How is this any different from the behavior we’re all lamenting? We were renters for a long time. We own it now, but our lawn still looks like shit. And by your comment I immediately felt “less than”. Just like all those “mean girls” are doing to our daughters.

  65. Amanda says:

    Oh yes, girls can be catty witches, can’t they? I know I was picked on some by girls growing up, but the teasing that hurt me the most was from guys. I’m 28 now, but I still vividly remember the comments that some boys said. Being told that you are “fat” in sixth grade. Having a guy tap you on the shoulder in sixth grade and ask if he can be your boyfriend. You hesitate, because you don’t really like him but you want to be nice about it and then have him reply that he was “just kidding” and he would “never go out with you.” That stuff still stings. Yes girls can be mean, but so can the boys …

  66. Kelly Fisher says:

    My 15 year old son said it best….”Girls are mean…and boys are just stupid” - this was said after a few of the boys ran saran wrap from the mailbox to the light pole and then proceeded to run the go kart really fast and break through the saran wrap….they broke the mailbox! It was funny! But, then again….I am a total “boy mom”! :)

  67. fidget says:

    “I want to cry and apologize to her. For all the hurts she is ever going to feel. For all the times when people will treat her unkindly. For all of the times I won’t be able to make it right. For the times I won’t understand. For all the ways that I will inevitably fail her.

    For all of it.”

    This hit me hard. My daughter is mildly autistic so I know that she will have 100x the problems with peers then any typical child will. I have rehearsed the I’m sorry speech so many times in my head b/c when the times comes I know I will be too ate up to think of what to say….

  68. Jamie says:

    Oh the mean girls…I cannot believe it happens so early. Today I took my girls (4 and 2) to a little playground by our house. As we were leaving, two other moms with their daughters were leaving, too. The oldest of the crew was sitting in the back seat and about to close her door when my oldest said, “Bye!” really sweetly. The little girl said, “Bye!…BABY!” and closed the door. My daughter nearly started crying. She talked about the “mean girl” all the way home.

    It’s so tough to watch our kids deal with the shittiness in life. And yes, unfortunately I think girls can be cattier, meaner, etc. than boys.

  69. Sock Girl says:

    Yes, it is so hard to see our lovely sweet babies hurt by mean kids.

    My youngest daughter is currently enjoying this book
    (warning - includes bathroom humour) which has a “treat others like you want to be treated” message.

    Sending virtual hugs to all those sweet, sensitive souls hurt by mean kids!

  70. Mary W says:

    Some one up above wrote that it was public school kids who were so mean. The meanest kids I have ever seen come from the private school run by my church. The kids think because their parents are uberwealthy they can behave as they wish and no one corrects it.

    My middle son is the sensitive one. It kills me to think - well know, now - that there are mean people who will do not so nice things just for grins.

    I have also noticed that girls are meaner than boys.

  71. terilynn says:

    I felt the same way yesterday at Six Flags, but my baby is 14. And it was the girl she considers her best friend. I wanted to pinch her little head off, but it wouldn’t take the pain away.

  72. wendy says:

    Don’t be sad for her…From all the ways you have described your daughter, she’s an intelligent, beautiful, funny girl who will run circles around those other kinds of girls in so many different ways! (And that’s because of you.)

  73. jody2ms says:

    Dude!! You hit 2 million! Whoo hoo!

  74. emilyhope says:

    It is terrible how children treat each other. It’s not so much different with grown ups somtimes either. My DD is graduating this year. They received their yearbooks today and her picture was not in it. She bawled her eyes out. She confronted the teacher in charge and the teacher tried to brush her off as it were no big deal! She even told her that she would see if she could get her money back for the book, but that she would have to give the book back. Enter my DH! He was at the school in minutes. The principal was informed of the situation. Especially how the teacher in charge handled it. There are 2 other Seniors who were also left out of the class pictures. They are going to have the company print pages with their pics on them to be added to EVERY yearbook that was ordered. The sadness I felt for her was tremendous! I guess it never ends.

  75. poppy fields says:

    I am convinced that not all little girls are like that. Your daughter will certainly reflect her kind caring upbringing in her actions toward others. I too, want to protect my daughters from those kind of kids, but maybe the best protection is raising sensitive children that wouldn’t even think of that kind of teasing.

  76. Missy D says:

    My 8 year old’s first experience with mean girls came last year with a “good” friend/neighbor kid. I cried. My big girl cried and told me that “I guess I’ll just be a better person than her, mom.” Wisdom from youth.

  77. Beverly says:

    I’ve witnessed the “mean girls” so many times…in my daughters life and at the dance studio. More than once I’ve had to step in at the dance studio and make these mean 8 year old girls stop picking on a five year old. (Because the “mean girls” moms never seem to be around.)

    Funny, but with boys it really is different.

  78. Molly says:

    I have a comment for SueFromOhio. I DO NOT think catty girls have bratty catty mothers. I have a rather… um… particular 5-year-old daughter, and sometimes I think she has a nasty side to her, but I gotta tell you, I try VERY HARD to teach her to be kind. I have read all the Faber & Mazlish books about treating people with respect, and how to handle anger in a proper way, and I have taken this all very seriously. Which is why I sometimes think to myself: Why do I feel like I’m rowing upstream and making absolutely no progress? Because sometimes this 5-year-old daughter of mine comes home from school and gets REALLY nasty with her little brother. I feel quite sure she’s letting off steam from frustrations at school, or at the very least imitating stuff she has learned from the other children. Then when she knows she’s being nasty, sometimes she glances over at me to see my reaction, and I jump right in to correct her. On weekends, when she doesn’t go to school she is much sweeter and nicer. The moral of my story is: DON’T BLAME MOMS FOR BRATTY BEHAVIOR. Sometimes, kids are just imitating each other, or testing the limits.

  79. Heather says:

    Oh, this breaks my heart for both of you. I can remember my cousin being subjected to the say type of thing and her sitting on my grandfather’s lap and crying.

    When she is older, she will understand that is all comes back around…..

  80. liz says:

    How could anybody look at that sweet face and be mean? Grrrrrr.

  81. Stacey says:

    de-lurking to say… I teach 5th grade. I have half a room full of 10 and 11 year old girls (the other half is boys). They are SO mean to each other. They can say the worst things ever about each other, spend the whole day in the guidance counselors office, get their moms involved (recently had two moms fighting outside my classroom door over their daughters) and you know what? The next day, the VERY next day, the girls are BEST FRIENDS FOREVER! (or until the next cat fight). It’s enough to drive a teacher insane. I am not looking forward to this with my own daughter at all.

  82. crazy8s says:

    I don’t think that girls are meaner than boys. I do think they are mean in different ways, however. Where boys might be more physical, girls can hit at insecurity issues on a more emotional level. It is sad that girls/women can be so “conniving” in their fighting tactics, but unfortunately it is a lesson all girls have to learn. Myself included. Building self-esteem and teaching your daughter ‘come-backs’ to snide remarks are some of the best things you can do to prepare her from other girls and bullies. That being said, it is sad that this is the norm.

  83. k says:

    At least you just wanted to pull down her pants. When I watched girls doing it to my 5 year old niece i seriously wanted to slap them right across their snotty little faces.

  84. Jen Jacobs says:

    I have a six year old daughter, and she has experienced a lot of this too! This year she came home and said “The big girls said I play with baby toys and I am a baby” (the bigger girls are in first grade). I was tempted of course, to say “who are these girls, I will go tell them a thing or two” or even “so and so is just mean and don’t play with her anymore”. But I learned in a class once to ask kids the “miracle” question, and it is particularly helpful with GIRLS. So i asked my daughter “wow, they called you a baby, well, do you believe it?” (the do you believe it part is the miracle question). She said, “No, I’m not a baby”. and i said, “good, i don’t believe it either.” Then we went on to talk about the fact that most of the teasing that goes on, the kids don’t believe what they are saying either. She was amazed to find out that those girls probably did not even think she was a baby, they were just trying to upset her. She said, “so if i don’t get upset, they won’t call me a baby anymore?” I told her she was right. And she was. I know bullies are not always easy to take, but the miracle question indicates that other people do not have the remote control to your brain - you do - and i think this is a lesson best learned early on (especially for girls)!!!
    By the way, there is a great website about bullies by the guy who taught this course, and i highly recommend it!
    http://www.bullies2buddies.com

  85. Jessica says:

    I know girls tend to be the meanest, but the other day I watched as much older boy (7 or 8) made his younger cousin (almost 4) be mean to my 2 year old daughter. The poor kiddo had no idea what was going on. She and the 4 year old usually get along so well, she thought the older kids were just playing with her.
    It broke my heart too. I hate the thought that some idiots are going to dampen her cheerful spirit.

  86. katiebod says:

    whew does this touch a nerve. I’m dealing with it with my five year old son and older boys (7 and 8) calling him stupid, loser, cheater, etc. Their behavior wears off on him and it affects the way he interacts with us. We live in a cul-de-sac so it’s next to impossible to keep them separated. But, it does frustrate me to no end when children who aren’t taught how to interact appropriately are constantly around my child. He’s imperfect in plenty o’ ways…it’s just, while he’s five, I’d love to try and guide him as long as I can. I find myself interjecting parental guidance into their fights because, if nothing else, I want my son to know where the boundaries are. It is VERY frustrating because I know the day will come (soon) when I won’t be able to “stick up” for him. :-(

  87. Jenny says:

    Having more than my fair share of daughters in tears over cruel playmates, I’ve found myself more than willing to have a little talking-to with bratty kids at parks.

    If you want any pointers on pushing the boudaries of things you can/cannot say to other people’s children, just lemme know. I’ve got quite an arsenal.

  88. Kerry says:

    I think saying that you wanted to de-pants them was showing great restraint. I might have said something about kicking them in the head. People seem to inspire that in me lately! hehe

    I think that being homeschooled makes kids more vulnerable to this crap. I don’t mean that in a way to imply that homeschooling isn’t a great thing, just that when we were homeschooling I noticed that my kids rarely had to deal with such crap (and when we did it was a huge deal!). Now that they go to school they seem to just accept that some people are idiots, others are mean, and it has nothing to do with them personally, because they see it (deal with it) daily.

    Yeah, little girls can be BRUTAL, and I remember from personal experience. Yuck.

  89. Alissa says:

    i haven’t read what everyone else has said, but i wanted to console you. my daughter (5) is the sweetest thing. she wants to be friends with everyone. she doesn’t understand why some girls are mean. why someone would feel like they don’t want any more friends. my heart aches for her. and for your daughter. and for all the pain they have yet to face. HUGS to you.

  90. Casey says:

    Ohhh…. let me say as a teacher in a k-8 urban school in CT…. it gets worse as they get older. Sadly… I watched a 6th grader in my school do the same question to make fun of scheme to a first grader. They are just outright MEAN to each other. I mean so much so that that third grade class was nicknamed the “mean girls class” after the movie. Sadly I had to have a talk with all the girls in SECOND grade about the horrible nasty things they were saying to each other. It is SOOOO much different then when I went to school and I am ONLY 23. I’m nervous to see what happens in another 15 years.

  91. Deanna says:

    So many comments, I didn’t read them all, but had to add my 2 cents. On the other end of our street lives two girls my daughters age that we know from church. My daughter doesn’t play with them because they’re always mean to her. She plays with all the little boys here at our end of the street. They don’t make fun of her, and when they do it’s in FUN, not to be cruel. I’m so sorry your little one has already encountered this. It’s a shame. I also pulled my daughter out of public school and home school now, primarily because of the kids at the school and their lack of values.

  92. Heather says:

    You are right, girls are mean. I could write a book about how many different things my daughter has had to go through during her almost 20 years of life all having to do with stupid sh*t girls do. And you know, I have yet to understand why. Why they are so different than boys. What are we possibly doing in their upbringing to make them this way? Or are they just pre-programmed this way? LOL..

    Your daughter is adorable and I felt YOUR pain today in your post. I have been there, I know. Hang in there, she’s gonna need you.

  93. Jenny says:

    Working as a monitor in the lunchroom at the local high school, I get to see a lot of this stuff first hand. It absolutely breaks my heart. The kids have no boundaries. They pick on both students with special needs and regular ed, boys and girls. While the girls can be catty, I have seen the boys be extremely brazen in their attacks. It really breaks my heart when the person being picked on doesn’t realize it and thinks that s/he is being accepted by the group. Myself and the other monitors do what we can, but often times you don’t see what’s happening until it is over (there are 1300+ students that pass through the lunchroom) and it makes me so sad.

    But I also get to see the kids that go out of their way to give someone a compliment or help another student. I witness staff sitting and talking with a student not included with the “in-crowd”. And I see the students who are picked on, brush it off, and move on to a healthier conversation. Some of these students are absolutely amazing with their positive outlook and ability to keep smiling.

  94. Analisa Roche says:

    Hello, I’m here from the Blogger’s Choice awards - really enjoying reading you. I have four children and I would react exactly the same way. It breaks my heart when kids are mean and I’m getting all pissed off reading about your daughter’s encounter. :( HUGS!

  95. Deb says:

    As mom to three girls, you couldn’t be more right and it is one of the reasons we homeschool. I am doing the best I can to raise girls who do NOT participate in this nonsense that leads to mommy wars and other such crap.
    Poor lovey…..

  96. Carolynn from Western Australia says:

    Chris,

    I am so sorry your little one has had to experience the meaness of catty little girls already. I am 50 next month and still remember how mean other little girls can be. Girls can be such B*****’s at times both from very young to supossed adults, WHY?????
    So long as you teach her that it is not alright to be mean and she remembers for herself how horrible it is to have someone act like that towards you she will have learned a valuable lesson. So hard to watch your little ones go through these events and so mean that it happens.
    She is a very pretty little girl, infact for that matter ALL your children are VERY GOOD LOOKING, not any wonder when you see pics of yourself and your Hubby.

    CJ

  97. Angela says:

    This post hit me so hard. I get a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see kids being hateful. I hope I hope I hope I can teach my kids to not be that way and to not be affected by it. (I remember walking around high school with my head down just so I could avoid being looked at/taunted. It has been 20 years, and it’s still burned in my brain. I don’t want that for my girls.)

  98. nabbalicious says:

    That is horrible! What bunch of little shits. I’m sorry, too. Your daughter is a sweetheart and I can’t understand why anyone would be unkind to her. Kids are so mean sometimes.

  99. jen says:

    I am so sorry for your adorable little girl. My sweetie is 3 and is not so adorable most days, because she is oil and water with her older brother (5). I hope that she is more resilient to teasing and meaness through her own bold personality. I am also praying that she won’t be the bully. I do have to say that boys are just as cruel, maybe not worse than girls though. My 5 year old is small for his age and is a target for both boys and girls to tell him he is a baby and horror of horrors…3 years old (this is apparently the worst of insults to a 5 year old). I am dreading that my kids will go through what I did in school. I was never able to completely fit into any group, and was the target of taunts. I do find that some kids who are normally kind, when they get into a group (heck even just 1 other kid will do) that is when they get uber mean. Its like they try to one up each other to look “good” in the others eyes. I don’t know how anyone can keep it from happening, even really good parents. Bless you for caring and trying to raise your daughter to be a sweetie. I dread the coming years, I want to be a great mom and raise compassionate kids, but the million dollar question is whether they will live what you try to teach….Hang in there.

  100. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    Stop by today, you’re it!

  101. Annie says:

    Are those the little girls who grow up to ask you at a fancy party for which you have had your hair done and bought a new dress and felt really good about yourself if #4 is on the way? “Because you said that was never going to happen. No way. I asked somebody if Annie was pregnant because she said no way was that ever going to happen…not a chance.” She repeated those comments several times before leaning in close, “Because that dress makes you look pregnant.” Hiss……..This morning I thought I should have told her that I hoped nobody ever spoke to her daughters like that. Maybe her daughters are the mean little girls. You just have to wonder what goes on inside people’s heads.

  102. becca says:

    I almost cried reading this. Honestly. It just brought back so many terrible memories of mean girls, and all the catty, hurtful things they do to each other. I have a daughter who’s almost 2, and when I imagined her in the situation, you’d better believe I wanted to do your fantasy scenario and give the older girls a taste of their own medicine.

    At the end of the day, at least they can come home to you. A comforting mom who’s indignant FOR you goes a long way in life. Big hugs to the whole family.

  103. Danielle says:

    I hate when kids so stuff like that. I can’t help myself and usually say something. My husband is always telling me that I’m going to get beat up by some kids some day.

    I also see my future through some strange headline. Teacher runs over children with her little red car. She was so calm and collected. “I’m shocked that this could have ever happened in this community!”

  104. jessica says:

    My daughter - she is 15. She left for school yesterday - so happy and cute. Converse, plaid sneakers, strawberry muscle tank with a great necklace she received from fredflare.com for her birthday. SHe was happy with herself. At 5:00 p.m., after tennis practice? Crying, crying in the car - why? Girls in the locker room trashing what she wears, girls she thought were her friends. They supposedly didn’t know she was there. Vicious comments. This stuff is really hard. The worst thing though? This stuff is like poison to me. I think it hurts me worse. Girls are under way more pressure than we were to look a certain way, be a certain way. Be sexy. Boys say things they never would have said in high school 20 odd years ago - they might have thought them, but said them? Never. If you set limits for your child, what about the rest of them who have spent the last four years watching MTV and Entourage? Uh oh. Waving my cane now too Chris - hard to feel any of it is good or positive or moving in the right direction. I wish I had had the courage to homeschool.

  105. Elizabeth says:

    This is one of the major reasons we decided to homeschool. My three yr old daughter was in preschool and another four girl was absolutely horrible. One day she tied my dd to a tree and left her there. Another day she buried her HEAD in the sand box. The teachers didn’t see it or their response was “Oh well. All the kids do that.” My husband witnessed one of the instances of abuse by this this little “demon” and wanted to knock her block off so bad that he had to leave the room. I wish that everyone’s children didn’t have to go through this, unfortunately, there are parents who just don’t care to teach their children any morals. How sad:(

  106. MotherReader says:

    I’m sorry that those girls were so mean to your little girl, but I don’t agree that girls are meaner than boys. I think boys and girls are mean in different ways, and the girl’s way probably pushes your buttons more - esp. being around boys a lot.

  107. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, look at that comment count! Hot topic! My own belief is that there is some kind of innate cruelty that comes out in little girls and good parents (you know, you and me)train our daughters not to be that way and they get over it. Bad parents (i.e. nobody that reads THIS blog) say “that’s the way girls are, just like Me and Muffy when we were little” and let it go.

  108. dcrmom says:

    It is heartbreaking. I see this in our neighborhood all the time. The boys have their disputes, but they move on, and it’s rarely personal. The girls are just mean. My dd is 4, most of the neighborhood girls are a year or two older. Sometimes they are nice, but many times they are not. Yesterday one told her that she isn’t popular. It helped some that her mom apologized to me, but it doesn’t fix my daughter’s broken heart. Or the many heartbreaks that are bound to happen as she grows older and has to face the realities of life.

    Great post.

  109. qtpies7 says:

    Girls can be so awful. I don’t know why. We have been really blessed to not be a part of that for the most part. My oldest dd has the most wonderful friends, they took her in as a younger girl and just loved on her when we were new to the area and the church. It was so touching to me, I still get choked up.
    My SON’S age friends, however, are a bunch of jerks, and they are not ashamed of it. They are mean as snakes to each other, but don’t mess with their friends.

  110. Dixie says:

    30-40 years ago I taught first and second graders. The girls were mean then although the third graders were the worst. I know girls have perfected the art of meanness since I taught, but part of it is just a stage. A stage that only becomes engrained because too many parents choose to ignore it, sadly!

  111. Jen says:

    Mean people are everywhere and all ages. We just have to teach our children to be strong and to have a sense of humor. If they can let things roll off their back, they will be better prepared for the real world out there. Sad, that our 4 yr old’s have to know meanness though.

  112. emily says:

    I am sorry that your baby had to experience that. Even now when my daughter (age 17 months) waves at older kids who then ignore her, I want to apologize to her and my heart hurts. I’ve got a looong way to go!

  113. Nicole says:

    I couldn’t agree more. With almost everythign you wrote. Here I sit at the ripe old age of 30 and I think ‘what is up with kids these days’ all of the time too…how did that happen? When did they stop being afraid of adults, especially other parents?!?! I dont’ have a little girl yet, but I’m already stressing about how to handle the whole ‘other girls are b*#tches sometimes’ issue…

  114. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    I think about this a lot when I’m with my niece. At two and a half, she’s so happy. I get sad thinking that she’s known nothing but love at this point and how many people there are out there just waiting to be crappy and mean to her.

  115. Hipwritermama says:

    I’m so sorry your daughter had this experience. I have 3 girls and have seen too many heartbreaking moments.

    In case anyone is interested, I’ve compiled a list of books and web links to help parents help their girls with friendships, cliques, bullying and developing self-esteem. I’ll be updating this list over the next couple weeks.

    http://hipwritermama.blogspot.com/2007/05/sundays-list-cliques-friendships-and.html

  116. Joy H says:

    Seriously — I’m soooo over nasty, bitchy little girls. My oldest just turned 9 last week. She has her moments, but I try to reel her in VERY quickly and try to always remind her of ‘putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.’

    Anyway —- my dh and I have a code word for one of our neighbor girls (Heather from the movie Heathers). I’m REALLY still mad at her after finding my 5-1/2yo in the bathroom crying over an incident with the little snot. She attempted to write a letter of apology where she never apologized; said she couldn’t remember parts of what happened; and then said ’so it was everyone’s fault’. Un-freaking-believable!!!! She asked me if I read her letter when she caught me bringing out the trash; I told her I didn’t want to talk about it b/c it made me even more angry. I wanted to say…..YOU ARE FREAKING 9-1/2 teasing my 5-1/2yo and you are trying to tell me SHE hurt your feelings — GAH!

  117. Gita says:

    London isn’t a country.

  118. Jean says:

    Just today, my beautiful 11-year-old daughter’s school picnic was ruined when the most popular little brat called her over to inform her that one of the boys “did not want to talk to her anymore.” This same boy was one of my daughter’s friends since kindergarten. This same little monster gets pity from everyone, including the teachers, because she is so beautiful, thin, sweet, manipulative … and her mother died tragically when she was in second grade. She can “do no wrong.” Her grandmother must now raise her but I must say her grandmother is not a pleasant person. She is a gossip and often slips and calls her granddaughter by her late daughter’s name. Her son is a depressed drunk who is always out of work. I don’t mean to judge, but I have heard second-hand gossip about ME from the grandmother, like I’m “unstable” (I’m bipolar) and that “Molly will never grow up normal.” It’s very hard. Even though my daughter will be leaving this school (it’s a Catholic school that only goes through grade 5) and entering public school this fall, there will always be snotty little brats who insult her for being five pounds overweight or not being allowed to wear makeup. ARGH! I know I can’t get involved and call the grandmother; that wouldn’t help things. I just told my daughter to smile at the brat and say something like “I LOVE YOU, TOO, DAHLING,” and walk away. Still, it rips my heart right out of my chest. I was mercilessly teased right through high school. At least my daughter has a much higher self-esteem to work with.

  119. Hot Stuff: Vote For Your Favorite! | GNMParents - Parenting Tips, News, Discussions, And Diatribes says:

    [...] at Notes From the Trenches shares an observation of kids- girls- being mean. Are girls more mean than boys? What’s a parent to do when they witness this cruelty? What [...]

  120. Stu Mark says:

    As you can see from the above, you’ve been nominated for Hot Stuff Of The Week by our site, GNMParents - Good luck in the voting!

  121. Barb says:

    Tons of comments that I don’t have the time to read through, and I’m sure somebody has already said it, but it’s NOT just girls, it’s boys, too. My oldest (8 y.o.) is a boy, and though we homeschool, I’ve seen the same behavior in homeschooled boys toward my son.

    Kids learn to exclude others if they’re not taught otherwise, it seems. Especially the kids who are new to a group or who don’t seem “cool” (which is something I try not to accentuate in my home). And it seems that the younger kids are learning it from the older kids, just as “being cool” and being sexual is becoming important at younger and younger ages. :(

    Yes, I see it in girls, too, and directed at boys as well. But if you hang out with kids and listen to what they’re saying when they’re playing, you’ll hear it and see it, whether they’re girls or boys.

    And I believe it’s our job to say something! I’ve been teaching neighborhood kids (in whichever neighborhood I’m in, which has been three just in our town since my oldest was born), that we don’t exclude others for any reason - not gender, not age, not skin color, not characters on clothes.

    For some reason, I’m the only adult out there with the kids. I don’t necessarily *want* to be there - I have things I need to do just like the other parents, but I am.

    And even if the other kids aren’t learning anything from what I’m teaching (kindness to other people and animals, respect for property, sheesh - where are their parents?), my kids are learning a lot from watching me and hearing what I’m saying and how I’m saying it.

    So while I may be helping the other kids (even if not right now, maybe it will stick with them and they’ll realize down the road how their behavior has been wrong, as I’ve read from so many adults when they look back on their childhoods), by speaking up in as respectful a way as I can at the moment (trying to disregard my own issues with their behavior and the knot in my stomach), I am helping my own kids learn what to say and how to be respectful even if others aren’t.

    This wasn’t meant to be a book and I’m sure I’d have so much more to say if I went through all the comments. ;) I guess what I’m saying is, whether it’s little girls or little boys playing, we need to pay attention so that we can step in and teach all the kids how to treat each other with kindness and respect.

    It sometimes seem that being a “childhood referee” is part of the parenting to-do list. :D

  122. Barb says:

    Er, I see nobody’s left a comment after my book above. But I thought of something else that seems not to be mentioned in the post or the comments… the affects of kids’ TV on kids’ behavior.

    They learn what they watch. They do what they learn. Even the gentler kids shows will teach whining and name calling and excluding others.

    My two fixes for this are to
    1) not allow my kids to watch any shows where the behavior is not what I want my kids to have

    2) if we’re watching a show and I see behavior I don’t like, I tell them so, and why and talk to them about it

    I would bet TV has a bigger affect on the kids than most parents think. Especially because a small incidence of catty behavior can be easily missed by a parent who’s monitoring their kids’ shows, but it all adds up. :( I imagine that could be the reason why so many parents who commented have noticed instances of behavior they didn’t like in their own kids, even though they teach them otherwise.

  123. paxil says:

    in Germany and then in the United States

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