Here’s How To Help Your Teens Deal With Mean Girls 

Photo by Tammy McGary on Flickr.com

 

Your daughter comes home from school crying because her “friend” was mean to her again and you begin to wince.

Either because you’ve been on the receiving end of mean girls in high-school… or perhaps you were even one yourself.

With social media and 24/7 access, teens face pressure and undergo mean girls now more than ever – and if your precious teen is on the other end of it – here are a few ways to help them deal. 

Teach Them Not To React

Mean girls love knowing they’ve gotten under your skin.

Instead of letting them gloat in their latest “successful” insult – teach your teen to not react.

That doesn’t mean they can’t stand up for themselves.

But teaching them to let certain things roll off them is a skill that will serve them later in life. 

Reassure Them Of Their Worth

Highschool can be a stressful season in life – from trying to fit in with the cool kids to getting into the best college – teens feel an enormous amount of pressure.

Reassure them that they are loved and valuable – and not to place their worth in what others say about them.

Perhaps you can even share your own story of a “mean girl” encounter you’ve had as an adult – to let them know they aren’t alone.

It’s also important to validate their feelings – even something as simple as “Wow, that must have been hurtful” lets them know you’ve got their back – and that you’re hearing them. 

Remember – Girl Drama Is Real

There’s a difference between catty comments between teenage girls – and a true bullying situation.

And as a mother, it’s important to know the difference.

If your daughter simply got into a verbal altercation with a girl in class, that’s a much different situation than someone spreading severe rumors about her and damaging her reputation.

Your first instinct as a mom might be to protect your precious girl – but sometimes it’s best to sit out the conflict and realize it all might resolve on its own. 

Of course, if things get serious, you may need to intervene and have a talk with the other girl’s mother or school officials. 

Encourage Problem Solving Skills

Help your teen brainstorm ways to resolve the issue.

It could be as simple as sitting at a different table at lunch – or even encouraging her to have a conversation with the “mean girl” – with possible mediation.

And if your teen has healthy friendships with other girls it can help soften the cruel words of a mean girl – by reminding her she has plenty of friends who love and accept her. 

But most important – teach your child not to be mean back.

While she should be encouraged to set a healthy boundary and stand up for herself – you can teach her at a young age that stooping down to the low level of another mean girl is not the way to go.

And have patience .

Your teen’s hormones are raging – and she may be extra sensitive from time to time.

It’s important to let your teen know she can always come to you about anything – and encourage her to share her struggles.

And as her mom, you can practice the skill of listening without having to get involved and “fix everything” unless a true crisis arises.

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