What Can Parents Do About Mean Girl Behavior

In Part 2 of 2 of her series on bullying, Samantha Parent Walravens provides pathways to discuss Mean Girl behavior with your teen girl, and steps to take if bullying is happening.

AS A PARENT, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOUR DAUGHTER IS BEING BULLIED BY A MEAN GIRL?

  1. Get the facts. Find out what’s happening, who’s doing it, how long it’s been going on, and if the teacher knows.
  2. Make sure your child knows that it’s not her fault.
  3. Talk about ways of responding to mean girls’ behavior. Role-play with her, acting out the different scenarios she might encounter.
  4. Encourage her to get involved in activities that focus on her talents and interests, especially activities outside of school and even outside of town. This will help her form new friendships outside of the “cliques” and put her with kids who share common interests. It may help your child realize that the mean girls are not “all that.”
  5. Tell her your own story if you were bullied as a child (and most of us were, in some way). What did you do in response? Did it work?

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