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HomeHealth & BehaviorBullying

Why are those girls so mean?

Page 2 of 4

By GreatSchools Staff

Where does it come from, and why do they do it?

The destructive behavior can start as early as preschool but tends to be most pronounced in early adolescence. In Queen Bees and Wannabes, Wiseman, describes the clique as a life raft for adolescent girls. "Imagine you and your daughter on a cruise ship," she writes. "Girls start telling each other the ship is stupid and boring and it's time to get off. As you watch helplessly, she leaves behind everything that is safe and secure, gets into a life raft with people who have little in common with her except their age, and drifts away."

Once she's on the raft, she's too far away from you and realizes her survival depends on bonding with the other girls in the raft. She's desperately afraid of being cast out. Wiseman uses this analogy to show the fear girls have and how they feel forced to act a certain way to be accepted by their peers.

"Cliques are self-reinforcing," writes Wiseman. "As soon as you define your role and group, you perceive others as outsiders. It's harder to put yourself in their shoes, and it's therefore easier to be cruel to them or watch and do nothing."

Of course, not all girls are nasty and belong to cliques. But whether or not they are "in" or "out," all girls will be affected by the actions of cliques because these behaviors are all around them. They need to understand how this social pecking order works, how they can act differently in their relationships and rise above it.

Technology makes the problem worse

Many parents downplay the problem of cliques, says Wiseman, and think, "Oh well, it's not a big deal. We had these problems when we were growing up." But Wiseman counters that it is a much bigger problem now. "We didn't have the Internet and cell phones when we were growing up," she notes. "We didn't have text messaging, instant messaging and MySpace." Technology makes it easy for kids to be anonymous in their meanness, and spread rumors and gossip like wildfire far beyond the school grounds.

Julia Taylor, a school counselor in Raleigh, North Carolina, and author of Salvaging Sisterhood and Girls in Real Life Situations, two curriculum guides for middle and high school girls, is equally concerned. "With the Internet and cell phones, with one click, they can ruin lives. And with the ease of use, they don't realize what they are doing, and they can't take it back."

What can schools do?

With increased demands on schools to increase test scores and improve student achievement, it's no wonder that behavior issues may take a back seat. But as far as Wiseman is concerned, there should be no excuses. "We need to create safe schools and deal with problems at the beginning rather than waiting," she says. "We can't act shocked and amazed that these behaviors happen with so-called nice kids at school."

Stan Davis, author of Schools Where Everyone Belongs, believes that schools need to provide a "safe and affirming school climate" for both boys and girls characterized by:

  • Consequences for aggression that are inevitable, predictable and escalating
  • Positive feedback to students, and a positive feeling and tone
  • A staff who spend time with students, especially students at risk

Schools can work at changing their culture bit by bit, says Davis. "School staff need to believe that it is their job to forge genuine relationships with students. They can set a goal that each student should have a positive relationship with at least two staff members. In that way, the staff members model the behavior that everyone here is important and students get a clear message." He believes that when staff members discipline students for acts of aggression, the consequences they employ work better in the context of meaningful staff-student relationships.

In her work with girls, Wiseman found that many girls think all adults are clueless about what goes on in girl relationships. She works at getting them to understand that there are adults they can turn to. She advises girls in her support program to seek out at least one adult who can be their advocate. She teaches girls how to interview and identify which adults they can feel comfortable with, and then seek them out in time of trouble.


Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

03/6/2012:
"Great post! But I disagree with many of the comments. I am 29 years old and have a "daughter" (I''ve been raising my niece for 5 years). I am a single mom and am trying my best to raise a responsible, kind and loving person. I feel like a lot of the comments made here were generalizations and are not always true. My daughter has become friends with a group of 5 girls, and as the year has gone on, has developed into the "mean girls club." Not only has she been the victim to a lot of bullying/relational aggression/social cruelty (gossiping, ignoring, rolling eyes, telling each other's secret's, excluding, fighting, telling rumors etc) from these "friends", she has also been know to be one of the "bullies" or aggressors. I don't believe that all little girls are mean or awful as stated. I know my daughter in her heart is sweet and loving. I think the motivation is trying to fit in, and be on top. to be "popular." I think the behavior she has experienced has damaged her and her friend's self esteem and i think that being on top a! nd popular makes them feel important. I can't say where it all started but when all of them are together at school it brings out the worst. I believe these girls lack the skills to make the change from what has been happening as I know all of them have been hurt and are upset with how things have gone. I was never one of those "popular" "cliquey" people nor do I encourage or teach my daughter to be. I do not gossip. I have always tried my hardest to be kind and have tried to teach her the same. I am not overweight, nor skinny. I am not ugly nor pretty. neither is my daughter. I am an average woman and she is an average girl trying to figure out where she fits in. I admit I used to believe that if a girl was a bully you could bet her mom was too. But I have learned not to judge. Nor I do not point fingers at the other girl's parents. Rather than trying to place blame maybe we could all work together as concerned parents, and try to find a solution so children can go to school without being distracted by social cruelty. I am just as upset by what is taking place at school as everyone else. And I feel just as helpless because I am not at school, nor do I get the whole story when I do hear about it from my daughter. "
01/20/2012:
"It's awful that people mention race and bullying- written by a commenter on 08/22/2011..."It is difficult for me to be calm,the fact I am Deaf and I am not a parent nor authority that I must endure these young black teen girls bully? " Would you tolerate the bullying more from an asian or white person? It's irrelevant! My son gets bullied by different races both girls and boys and we are black! "
01/11/2012:
"fab id give it 2/5 "
12/22/2011:
"I was going to fight but it got so big the teachers hear and stopped it before it happened. A lot of people were sad and I got in a lot a trouble. So now we can't talk to each other. "
12/12/2011:
"Girls are just awful, whether it's in school, work, or sports. I played volleyball for a year and a half & it was nothing but drama, drama, drama. Even when they're not saying stuff to your face, they can treat you like you're worthless and that just ruins your self esteem. I know so many girls who quit the team because of those few who weren't talented at anything except killing confidence. I was lucky enough to learn from the experience & realize that your success is not determined by how many points you score in a game, if you're the most popular on the team, or if you're the MVP, but by what you learn and what lessons you take away from the experience. Speaking from experience, mean girls don't amount to anything & things get better. I ended up writing a book called The Bench Sitter based on that year and a half and I'm happier than ever. (: Don't let mean girls get to you, ever! -Katlin Sweeney, 18 Year Old Author of The Bench Sitter. "
12/8/2011:
"hello i was looking for pros adn cons are girls too mean to each other. yet this article was very helpful:) thank you "
11/28/2011:
"Girls are just awful, whether it's in school, work, or sports. I played volleyball for a year and a half & it was nothing but drama, drama, drama. Even when they're not saying stuff to your face, they can treat you like you're worthless and that just ruins your self esteem. I know so many girls who quit the team because of those few who weren't talented at anything except killing confidence. I was lucky enough to learn from the experience & realize that your success is not determined by how many points you score in a game, if you're the most popular on the team, or if you're the MVP, but by what you learn and what lessons you take away from the experience. Speaking from experience, mean girls don't amount to anything & things get better. I ended up writing a book called The Bench Sitter based on that year and a half and I'm happier than ever. (: Don't let mean girls get to you, ever! "
11/2/2011:
"This is how you can stop the bullying, if the school or parents won't do anything about it. Have an attorney write a warning letter to the parents and the school that police charges and a civil lawsuit will be filed towards them all. Believe me, the bullying will stop promptly. "
10/12/2011:
"Great post, do you mind if I re-blog this (with full attribution and linking)? I really want to share it with my readers, they would find it very useful. "
09/21/2011:
"This is one of the reasons I home school. As for relatives that bully you----who needs them. "
09/6/2011:
"I absolutely agree with this article, especially that these "mean girls" are made this way by the way the parents (especially the mother, in girls anyway) act. I have seen some of these moms in action and it's no wonder these girls act so bad. Parents NEED to be aware of other peoples feelings, and how they are protraying what they say about a neighbor, coworker, even family members. Whether teens admit it or not they do listen to what their parents say and don't say. Parents must start when their children are small, babies, teaching by example, how to treat other people reguardless of what they 'really' think of these other people. I exposed my children at a very early age to disabled people, I taught them that they don't make fun of people who are different, and to treat them as they would want to be treated. Because of the early age lessons, they didn't point and stare at someone who was different. We were, when our children were young, considered 'lower class' because we! couldn't afford the expensive clothes and toys, but because our children were polite (in which I received MANY compliments on their behaviors) they were use to different types of people, they got along with everyone. I do believe that if ( and yes I would have hated it too as a child...probably) but uniforms would probably help some with "mean girls" as no one would really know what "kind of family" everyone was from. Cell phones absolutely should not be tolerated out of back packs at school. ( some homes now only have cell phones and no house phones so it is almost nesseccary to allow the children to carry them) If they come out of their backpacks then they should be taken away with the parents having to pay a fine, and maybe they would pay more attention to what 'their' child is up to. It is not ok to take another students picture w/o their permission if over 18 and under 18 a parents permission. Maybe making the "mean" girls responsible for some other of the other less! fortunate girls, disabled, tuitoring, or whatever their need ! may be, may show them responsiblity, accountability and a new respect for all humans. If the parents can't do it at home, then the schools need to step up and help. Too many bad things are happening to other girls because of these mean girls and it can't wait another minute to get it under control! "
08/22/2011:
"It is difficult for me to be calm,the fact I am Deaf and I am not a parent nor authority that I must endure these young black teen girls bully? The parents no help to discipline because the girls talk over me. They gang up on me trying to instigate trouble which I try to be nice and ask please be respectful and kind toward me. I don't treat you like that. I mind my own business yet they come up in my space and heckle jeckle me and try to provoke that I started by looking at them or pointing finger at them. Sheesh I rather go my way without a glance at them but I use my eyes to watch my surroundings. I wish I was a bigger woman that I could bend them on my lap and give them hard wallops and sit them time out. It is not right for them to continue that mode toward me, toward my deaf friends intimidating them making fun of our deaf hood. What can I do besides to move out of town? They need to be stopped because they are doing to others too I am sure of. I want to repor! t and send them professional counseling or some group for them to have behavior modifications I am in my 50's and I fear for my life. Could I report them to police not having to go through their parents let the police take girls in and call the parents about their misdemeanor crimes? Guarantee results answers actions to correct them put them in their places be good citizens. Thank you for allowing me to share my experience. "
08/22/2011:
"Usually the girls that there parents work at the school or think there all that they won't even touch you. If you get three maybe even two girls against 'Them' they'll back off. Sometimes you can do this by your self if you try! "
08/22/2011:
"Well I Think it's Terrible To Be A Bully Well I Am A Student And People Pick On Me All The Time I Dont Like It I Usually Cry After But I Ask My Self Why Are Kids So Mean? I Think Hard But I Can Never Understand Cause I'm Not A Bully...I Wish I Can Stop Kids To Be Mean It's Just Not Right The Bully's Should Know How The Other Kids Feel But They Just Dont Care I Wanna Help To Stop Bullies :D "
08/19/2011:
"This is some advice for those are currently in high school being bullied and parents who are looking for some tips/ideas. I am a former high school student was bullied beyond belief.. I'm not here to tell any sob stories but all I can say is DO YOU. The BEST way to take your mind off nonsense and bullying is by being involved in school and networking..start early..the more productive you are, the more your mind is off things. To the parents, I would STRONGLY suggest that you crackdown the bullying by talking to the other child's parents... complaining to school will only create embarrassment and some times lead to little or no positive change whatsoever... Another piece of advice, parents to teach their children to be more aggressive..fighting back doesn't necessarily have to be physical..teach your child they are worth far more and you will be surprised of the results..a confident child can overcome any obstacle! "
08/2/2011:
"I'm 27 years old and married...but I will always remember being bullied. It still happens even now as an adult, but just a bit differently. I've always been considered "weird" because I'm shy and sensitive. I have been bullied since childhood. I won't share all my stories, but that scared little girl still lives within me. As to the comment about pretty girls being picked on...well, it goes both ways. Pretty girls can definitely be victims of bullying but they are also the ones that are most likely to be unkind to others who aren't considered beautiful or popular. They also tend to be more confident than the so-called "ugly" girls. Being pretty is generally an advantage in life and especially in high school, because people will be more accepting of conventional beauty. I know that if I had been considered beautiful by my classmates, they would have been nice to me. But I was viewed as ugly and weird and poor, so they weren't. I went through pure torture in high school because I was a skinny biracial girl with long hair and light skin. Most of my classmates were very racist and they treated me badly. The black kids were mean, especially the girls, while the Hispanic and white kids made hurtful comments about my hair. Then I had to deal with my abusive stepfather at home. I was pretty much like Carrie from the Stephen King book. I would not return to high school if you paid me all the money in the world. "
08/1/2011:
"I, as a "weird" girl,can say it's probably one of these reasons: 1. They want to feel better about themselves, are very insecure and such, and can't handle their insecurities,so they think, oh, well, for so-and-so reasons, I'm better than HER, blah blah blah. (I have no problem challenging authority and am a bit of a rebel.) 2. They feel threatened by my "going my own way", because it's not what they're used to, and try to sucker me into being "normal". 3. They think, "Oh, this girl doesn't obsess about boys and curses in mandarin and uses terms from Japan and Spain and hates all shoes, and doesn't like shopping! Let's poke her with a stick and see what she does!" "
07/27/2011:
"Sometimes the girls are mean because of the home lives and/or past/younger years. ive been bullied alot at school for being short and not wanting to hang out with the 'populars' before. I just think, yeah it hurts but if i dont show it, they will slowly quit. i am 13 and in 8th grade. it seems like everyday there is atleast 3 people infront of me being bullied. i try to help them which will sometimes possibly make me the target. Girls that are mean, are just jelious. and most of the time they pick on the pretty girls(: Honestly, i wouldnt be poplar for all the money in the world.... To people getting bullied: dont let it bother you keep you head up high, you are the pretty one. They're just jelious. "
07/21/2011:
"I think girls are mean because of 2 reasons.1 they want to be popular and be cool. But who cares about being cool. Be cool by just being you. There is no reason to be so immature. And 2 because they are insecure and fell angry inside. They feel they need to take that anger out on someone else. Some people do that and are like that .But that's o.k. There is no need to judge others but i think everybody could be a complement nicer. "
06/7/2011:
"I have witnessed mothers training their daughters to bully, to form cliques. All of these mothers had weight issues and took their aggression out on skinny mothers and their children. Bullies come from parents who encourage and teach their children to be this way."
03/7/2011:
"What are some reasons why girls are so mean to eachother?"
01/31/2011:
"I don't know if this fits under the 'bullying' category, but every time I make a really good guy best friend that I have no interest in what so ever, as soon as he gets a girlfriend, their girlfriend automatically tells him they are not allowed to be my friend anymore or talk to me or they don't like me, and our friendship always ends. It's happened to me so many times already I'm really upset over this. "
10/18/2010:
"I just witness bullying in my daughter school. My daughter said she is not being bullied. They just do not like her. She was pushed by one sister, and the following week, her hair was pulled out by the other sister. The school did not call me about either of the incidents. So, I decided to take action and go to the school board, which did not help, because the principal got very nasty with me and he told me what do you want me to do, have someone follow her around all day. I am not very happy about this situation. I am still trying to figure out where to go next. Please do not sit around and let your children be bullied."
07/19/2010:
"Pretty girls get bullied a LOT more, contrary to popular opinion. Think about it, no one is jealous of a fat ugly girl, right? So who do people (girls) pick on, get jealous of, and bully? Beautiful women. Extremely hot girls are always a target. This continues on for a woman's entire life."
07/19/2010:
"how do you deal with bullies that are in the family! (example: 11 and 10 year old sister bullies)I am 33 years old and they have made me cry not to mention my little girls all 3 of them!!! I've talked to my sister-in-law about her 'sweet' girls, but all she said is that they are too young to understand that they are doing something wrong!!! She is my neighbour so it makes things complicated for me and my daughters. My husband doesn't say a thing because he's scared that he will not get to see his nieces grow up. They've said they will stop talking to us! We have the same circle of friends so it makes it hard to say anything without my-in-laws getting involved. I've tried everything from bribing them to be nice to my kids to just not letting my kids go over to their house. but like I said things get very complicated when I say anything HELP ME!!!!!!!!"
04/8/2010:
"alot of this article makes sense, but how does a child get in trouble for asking for help, and for going to the school and explaining the situation,my daughter has a boyfriend, a girl who is suppose to be her friend, slept with her boyfriend, the two girls want to be with this boy, so they argued over and over. when my daughter finally figured out it wasnt worth the trouble by the school to continue to argue, the girl figured my daughter was affraid, she continued to throw looks, spread rumors, just do things to aggitate including dye her hair to look like my daughter, my daughter is like a ticking bomb ready to explode. she tries to ignore this girl but the girl continues to do things to annoy my daughter, how much is enough? while this girl continues to taunt my daughter nothing is done, the second my daughter says anything she is called to the office and disciplined over her actions. what about the other girl and how my daughter is being pressered to take action/law in he! r own hands because what this girl is doing."
12/28/2009:
"For too many kids, going to school is their daily nightmare. Nobody should have to be at the receiving end of constant humiliation and harassment. The need to belong - to fit in - is great. Self-esteem workshops empower girls to have the confidence to make the right choices and still be a part of the group. Turning against the person who was your friend yesterday, doesn't ensure your safety. Tomorrow, it could be your turn. Schools need to invite experts to lead workshops that include the power of the bystander who is present in 85% of bullying situations and can change them if they know how. Schools also should develop policies and include consistent consequences for non compliance and distribute them. Not knowing is not an excuse. Now that we know what to do and what methods work, let's get to it! "
12/7/2009:
"As a girl in middle school who sees this kind of stuff every day, this article was not very helpful. Things like this always say to go to an 'adult' but either the adult is completely ignoring the behavior or they join in it. Girls won't care if you tell an adult because unless you have proof then nothing will be done about it or the teachers will just tell you 'suck it up, that's life'. Even then, they're probably not going to do something mean directly in a teacher's face, they'll get in trouble. Teachers need to pay attention in the hallways and outside of school more. Plus, there are two sides to every story. Your little girl can say oh they harrassed me about my clothes, but what she doesn't say is that she started a rumor about their boyfriend or that she harrassed them first. I've seen way too many innocent people being called 'bullies' for getting in a fight with 'the nicest girl in school' yet, the 'nicest girl in school' has been harrassing said person the entire t! ime and the innocent person has had enough of it and decides to bite back.(Teachers,parents,principals have done nothing about it so you have to right? That's the thought that goes through their mind.) Also bullying can be misunderstood. I've been in a situation where I didn't like a person, and they constantly followed me around even after I told them to stop it. They stalked me down and spread rumors of how 'mean' I was, and that I was a bully. Sometimes you can just geniunely not like a person and you don't want to hang out with them. You're not a bully for that. It just means that their personality clashes with yours and you'd rather not be their friend. Unless you have absolutely no idea who this person is but you don't like how they dress or they got better grades than you etc. and you just mess with them for those types of reason then THAT is bullying. Also a lot of kids are socially awkward and shy. Teach them some social skills! If you're sitting next to them and a! ll they do is sit there, quietly or they just stare at you the! n chances are you'll move away and talk to someone else. In short: Get teachers who will actually HELP the problem, make sure bullies actually get PUNISHED for what they do, make sure you're not singling out the wrong person as the bully, and teach kids social skills. Do all this and I can gaurantee your bully problem will be over."
08/10/2009:
"My 11 year old son was being bullied by a girl in his class while in the 5th grade last year. The girl would always make racist comments towards him and putting him down and putting her race above his. When my son mentioned it to me and asked if one race of people were better than others I was surprise to hear him ask this(we have always teached our children that all people are equal) He then told me this girl always made him feel uncomfortable and would tell other kids not to play with him or to talk to him and that she would throw stuff and him during class. I told him this was not ok. and that I would take care of it. I also did not know that the same girl was in his after school program class and the nasty behavior was also happening there as well. I wrote a letter to his teacher and CC both the principal and the after school program director and ask that this problem be taken care and if I saw that nothing was resolved within 3 days I would be contacting the School D! istrict Board of Directors and the after school directors as well. Needless to say the next morning the girl was spoken to by the teacher, the principal, and the after school program director. She was also asked to apologize to my son. The after school teacher also spoke to the entire class about making racist comments and bullying not being acceptable. I was very please the way the school handled it and the girl was no longer mean and actually got along well with my son after. "
08/4/2009:
"I have a 9 year old that has been bullyied since K- present. I have argued and went off on the school to help but they seem to push everything under the rug. She comes home with bruises and lies about what happened because they threaten to jump her two or three in a group. When she didn't get into a charter school I applied for she screamed and cried out like a wounded animal and it broke my heart. I set up a meeting with the school to address these issues and they made her out to be the bad person. She is taught to be a peace builder and not use her hands but when she speaks to them to be nice she is told she shouldn't communicate with them is they are treating her bad. They curse her out, hit her treat her badly and this year I will not tolerate not one second of it. The authorities will be called if I find one bruise on her and I will go to the regent office to investigate this school. I can't afford catholic school and almost all the schools in my area are failing school! s. I don't see the need to move her from one to the other.I told my daughter where ever you go there is a bully this is how they justify trying to be big and bad and feel better about themselves. I told her never give them the power over you. Together we will fight the whole school if we have to but don't let them get away with it. "
06/24/2009:
"I'm going to eight grade this next semester on a new school because I couldn't take how people treated me back at my other school in Puerto Rico. Boys were really mean to me and girls were even meaner. Back at my other school there were 3 classes of people: The Rich Brats, The Wanna-be' and the Weirdos. The rich brats were the ones who never did anything and if they did nobody would do anything because they were rich. The wanna-be always tried to be like the rich brats. The weirdos-like me- didn't mind being at the bottom of the food chain because we knew that we weren't always gonna be at the bottom of the food chain. One time a girl named Sheika (the principal's daughter) threw a ball(on purpose at my friends and hit one of them in the belly. We told the teachers and the told us not to be such cry babies! I hope that in my new school people aren't so mean and that teachers don't like some students MUCH better than others."
06/8/2009:
"I'm a 7th grader in Catholic School. I've gone to this school since 3rd grade. Even from the very beginning, people were not the nicest there. My cousin, who is in the same grade as me, does not have all of the problems that we have. His class, in general, seems much nicer. Although, 2 years ago, he went to Catholic School and he had a terrible time. The older girls there were cruel to him, and one girl especially would take the time every day just to mess with him. When I heard this, I immediately thought of how much it sounded like the people at my school. My parents recently bought a house in the same town. It's a small town. Right now I live in the city. I've lived in the same small house all my life. This house that we bought went on auction due to economic problems. When word got out that I was moving into such a nice house, all of the girls were a lot nicer and more polite than usual. They wanted to throw a big sleepover. You see, it may sound rude, but I really don't! tolerate being used just for my material objects. Up until this incident, I'd never really seen eye-to-eye with most of the girls. They are very immature and do things I would NEVER do. Whenever I meet my cousin's friends from public school, they don't act at ALL like my classmates. It may seem stereotypical, but it seems that children at private schools are generally more cruel. Maybe it's because private school children tend to have more money. Maybe, because they are in such tight school, they develop the idea that they are better than others. Whatever the reason, it needs to be stopped. Innocent people get treated like dirt everyday. They get used, or put dowb, or harrassed. I have to admit, a lot of it IS the girls, but boys do it, too."
05/28/2009:
"I am a mother of a 12yr old girl who is the 'leader of the pack' so to speak- with what seems to be a tight-knit clique at school. I know my daughter is charismatic and has a strong personality, but I never realized she'd be the one with a 'following' at school. At a parent/teacher conf. her teacher tells me he really enjoys having my child in class,that she's funny, smart, etc..but, that he'd noticed her and her friends weren't always pleasant with those outside their group. I have watched closer since he told me that. I was getting worried when I saw that her 'group' was alienating one girl on purpose because they thought she was a bit socially weird. I talked with her and asked her to reach out. I let her know that as the leader of her group she had to be the one to reach out or no one would. She actually listened! I can tell you, that now that I know of her so called influence over this group, I intend to try really hard from letting her or her group from becomin! g the 'clique' stereotype. Parents can have a positive influence as well-not just negative!I am greatful her teacher paid attention and actually informed me. "
05/26/2009:
"In some cases such as the middle school my daughter attends staff have gone too far and need to be reeled in. I was recently contacted by a teacher because my daughter and her female friends would hug each other when they would meet. I was told this was happening outside of the class but that the school had a policy against it. I told the teacher Ifound this policy to be extreme and that I did not have a problem with the behavior. She was quite shocked. Parents do need to support the schools but also need to speak out when things have gone too far. "
05/21/2009:
"I am a parent of a 5th and 6th grader. They both have cell phones and they both understand that it is a responsibility and priveledge to have cell phones. The number one priority to have a cell phone is safety. And the ultimate responsibily of communication between us lies within them. They also understand that I have the ability to monitor their texting anytime. It amazes me how many of their friends say that their parents would never look at their texts and give them privacy. Well, let me tell you, more parents should be looking at what their 6th grader is texting."
05/18/2009:
"Well, I found the article to be very helpful especially in the beginning. Unfortunately, it moved toward defining all behaviors as bullying. Bullying has been defined specifically and doesn't allow for the nuances of excluding and subtle gossip, misinformation etc. I would like to see the more subtle but equally hurtful aspects addressed."
03/3/2009:
"This a great website page but I had found out my daughter has a different situation which only involves girls fighting over things that do not involve boys but families and other friends that have revenge on one another. Also my children are in high school and they have these situations happen to them everyday! What can i do about it?!"
07/23/2008:
"This is a good article, but girls can be mean to boys sometimes also. In the 5th grade I was harassed by several girls at my school but the teachers at my school didn't do a thing about it! They thought they were just 'nice girls'. The next year the same problem persisted. Those same girls at school lied to the teachers to get several boys suspended. I was almost suspended for no reason but the principle believed me. But the girls still didn't get in trouble! It almost seems as if girls are getting away with anything and everything in the public schools these days. The parents really need to step up and do something about this because obviously the teachers aren't."
12/17/2007:
"I'm 15 there's this bully at my school she's mean to me for no reason my friends and mom say it's jealousy she puts stuff in my hair and in class she throws thumb tacs at me. And she got freshmen princess and I'm thinking she should be happy but she's not...just cause she's not happy with herself doesn't mean she needs to try and make other people miserable. It's just so annoying! Just thought I'd share that story with everyone!"
12/6/2007:
"I'm appalled at some of these comments. Referring to little girls and brats and saying that girls are awful is ignorant and mean. I'm thrilled to hear that you don't have girls either, imagine how you'd treat them? I have raised two boys and two girls and each gender brings joys and challenges to parenting, but I wouldnt change a thing. The issues with bullying were usually present when there were three girls or boys together..it just creats a dynamic that encourages divisiveness. Two against one..that sort of thing. As soon as your child is being bullied, report it, in writing to the school officials. If the bullying is persistent and pervasive, have an attorney write a Gebser Notice. If your child is harmed in any way, instruct him or her to go to the nurses office so an incident report is filed. I hope you all have a happy holiday!"
11/26/2007:
"My 10 year old daughter just started a new school this year, and already she has been tagged by some bullies. A group of girls started antagonizing her about her clothes, but my daughter verbally defended herself and told them that she didn't care what they thought of her. Now the girls have started to spread rumors about her to other children, and she has been ostracized by all but one child. I just had the first trimester parent/teacher conference and although my daughter is at the top of the class with her academic test scores, her grades for her schoolwork is in the 'D' range. She tells me that she cannot concentrate on her work at school because the children are constantly saying mean things behind her back. When I mentioned this to her teacher, she just said that she has not seen anything like that from the other children. What can I do? Should I just change schools? This is the first time that something like this has ever happened and I do not want my daughter's grad! es or her love for school to drop. Please someone give me some good sound advice. I am not sure what to do or where to turn."
11/15/2007:
"My daugher in 6th Grade is being bullied by a friend of hers and another girl in her class for no reason at all. This started only recently, they are pulling her hair at recess, hitting her arm and pulling her jacket. She stood up for herself one day and now I brought it to the attention of the guidance/councillor at the school. She is doing everything right by reporting them, but when and how does this stop? Anyone out there to give me some clues. This is a friend of hers that she thought was a good one and was also bullied when she was in 2nd and 3rd grade. My daughter only got to know her last year. What's the best next step to take? Concerned Mom"
11/13/2007:
"TO THE MOTHER FROM NORWOOD: WE ALSO HAVE THE NOT ALLOWED TO START A PROBLEM, HOWEVER IA ALLOWED TO DEFEND SELF. IN THIS CASE IT IS MY SON AND THE SAME RULE APPLIES. SCHOLL IS VERY GOOD ABOUT NIPPING THESE THINGS IN THE BUD- HOWEVER THEY CANNOT SEE EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. JUST KNOWING HIS PARENTS WILL BACK HIM UP HAS A MAJOR CONFIDENCE BOOST AND THE RESULTING SELF-ESTEEM HAS SO FAR BEEN ENOUGH TO STOP ANY FURTHER EVENTS TO DATE. ALSO, A MARTIAL ARTS SELF-DEFENSE CLASS WILL DO WONDERS FOR A CHILD'S ATTITUDE AND SELF- AWARENESS. KEEP IN MIND MOST KIDS ARE BULLIED BECAUSE THEY LOOK LIKE THEY WON'T STICK UP FOR THEMSELVES, AND ONCE THEY ARE READY TO DO SO, THE OTHER KIDS WILL PICK UP ON THAT AND MOST WILL NO LONGER BE A PROBLEM TO YOUR CHILD."
11/13/2007:
"This was helpful but it's not always a click being bullies, sometimes it is a solitary child who bullies. The child that is jealous of the friendship 2 other children have, or just a child that is so unhappy that she is mean to others."
11/13/2007:
"I don't want to sound pessimistic, but unless parents admit that their children are bullies and do something about it, the problem will persist. Too many parents take the 'Not my child' approach. My 3rd grade daughter was being bullied by a fellow 3rd grade girl. This girl was conflicted because she really did't have a problem with my daughter, her mother had a problem with me. This was talked about at home and I'm sure this little girl overheard the negative comments. I read Ms. Wiseman's books and took her advice and positively confronted the mom. I could tell the mother was embarrassed but our children are playing together again and the bullying has stopped. "
11/12/2007:
"I've noticed that the girls who are mean at my daughter's school are very much reinforced by their parents. We even have one little girl's mother who uses her influence as a friend of other parents to get them to leave some girls out of parties or outings because her daughter 'doesn't feel comfortable around them, because they are too wild' In reality her daughter is turning into a quietly vicious bully and hurting others to boost her own self-esteem. I am continually shocked that any parents buy into this kind of behavior. What grown person gossips about 9 and 10 year old girls? I haven't noticed that the school system here is very helpful. The town is small and official seem eager to blame outsiders or children from 'problem homes' but they never do anything to help with the children of the adult cliques that have lived here for a long time. The best advice I can offer anyone is to check out other groups in your community, through your church, girl scouts, the YMCA or the ! Boys and Girls clubs of America, etc. Take your children to other places where they will have an opportunity to make better friends. Also, American Girl Company offers some great books for girls to help them deal with bullies an mean girls at their school. "
11/12/2007:
"Mean Girls behavior starts at home. I know some kids who engage in this behavior and they absolutely learn this at home. Quite frankly it is oftentimes encouraged by their parents! Parents who are jealous of the achievements of other children can be some of the worst offenders. Unbelievably, one of the worst cases of girls being mean to other girls was very surely promoted by the wife of a YOUTH MINISTER I know. She, herself was very cliquey, and made no effort to conceal the fact that she felt she was better than some of the people she knew at her church and the school she worked at. She was a liability for her husband, who is now a pastor in another town. Her own daughter did horribly mean things to other girls in her class at school. The mothers attitude was so blatant, that anyone with eyes could observe where and why the daughter acted so rotten. I think it always eventually goes back to what kids are taught at home. Shame on some parents!!! "
11/8/2007:
"Thank you for the article on 'Mean Girls'. My daughter has been dealing with one particularly controlling and threatening girl (and the pack of girls she controlled) since she was three, she is now ten. Last year, she finally learned how to stand up to the main girl, throwing back insults instead of taking them and 'accidentially bumping into' the mean girls when they hit her. By the end of the year, the girls left her alone. My daughter also had issues in summer camp with boys pushing and hitting her. We worked with her and one day she hit back, hard. The boys left her alone after that. This has given her great confidence and she no longer accecpts bullying. She is no longer a victim. She is not allowed to throw the first insult or punch, but she is allowed to defend herself, even though it is against the school rules. To the mother with the daugher at Norwood Middle School, put her in Karate or some other Marshall Arts. Teach her how to fight verbally and physically and that she can fight back. Bully's choose people who are too nice to fight back."
11/8/2007:
"SCHOOL DISCLPINE, DEPENDS ON THE PRINCIPAL WHO HAS TO BE STRONG BUT NOT OVERBEARING,IN ADDTIONAL HE OR SHE MUST COMMUNICATE TO HIS STAFF AND PARENTS ABOUT THE DISCLPINE POLICY. THE PRINCIPAL MUST BE FAIR AND THROUGH IN MAINTAINING THE POLICY THROUGH OUT THE SCHOOL AND AFTER SCHOOL.WITH NO COFUSING TRIVA,BUT BE FAIR AND THROUGH PARENTS UNDERSTAND THE RULES AND REGULATIONS WHEN THEY ADMINSTERED, WITH NO LEWAYS FOR THE RICH,OR WHOSE WHO IN THE COMMUNITY."
11/7/2007:
"In an ideal world this info is perfect but we do not live in an ideal world, do we! When my 11yr old daughter was assaulted at her school she recieved the same punishment as her attacker.(my daughter had a concussion from this attack for over three weeks).The principle gave them both a one day suspension! Can you advise me and other parents of what to do when a child is confronted in a bathroom by a bully and then punched to the ground? Please don't say that the child should leave the bathroom. She was pinned to the wall and could not get away so she got her leg in between herself and the other girl (who is a good 45lbs heavier than her)and shoved her off. Due to the action she took she apparently deserved a suspension. The attacker was not hurt at all and in fact laughed about the whole thing with her friends. Give me some advice here. I want to know your opinion.There is a lot of politics and tape to deal with when an assault happens at a school and nobody in the district ! seems to care and wants the problem to just go away so they do everything in their power to sweep it under the rug heaven forbid the story gets out and gives the school a bad rep! thats what l think it all comes down too. Thank you"
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