[vc_row row_type=”2″ blox_image=”13989″ align_center=”aligncenter” page_title=”page-title-x” blox_padding_top=”140″ blox_padding_bottom=”50″ row_pattern=”max-pat”][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/12″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”10/12″][vc_empty_space height=”120px”][vc_empty_space][vc_custom_heading text=”what to do when the mean girls pick on your kid…” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_custom_heading text=”solve the problem the lifehacksforkids way” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/12″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”10/12″][vc_separator color=”white”][vc_custom_heading text=”introduction” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]A parent taking our Resilience Boot Camp asked:

How do you teach a 5 year-old girl to be resilient, when other girls are being mean (to her)?

Good question.

The mean girl situation can rear it’s ugly head at any time, so what on earth should you do?

We put our thinking and our research caps on and have come up with 5 steps you can take if this is happening to your child.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”10/12″][vc_custom_heading text=”1. what’s the reality?” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Before we take matters into our own hands and try and ‘fix’ everything, we need to know exactly what is going on.[/vc_column_text]

how old is your child?
[vc_column_text]This could be the difference between a short-lived-learning-socialisation-skills problem, to one which is a deliberate-and-calculated-bullying problem.

That doesn’t mean to say that the 5-year old child on the receiving end of mean behaviour is any less affected or hurt than a 14 year-old will be, but age might help to determine the type of problem, which in turn, will help shape how you deal with the situation.[/vc_column_text]

turn detective
[vc_column_text]Before any possible solutions can be thought about, we need to try and understand exactly how this is a problem; time to ask your child some very specific questions:

How do you know they are being mean to you?

What is happening exactly? Who is being mean and what are they doing?

What was the first mean thing they did? When did this occur? How often does it happen? What happened immediately before it started? What was your relationship like before the first time?

What do you do when they are being mean?

Do they do this to anybody else? Are they mean in other ways to you, or to other kids?

Has the teacher noticed and said or done anything?

Pay attention to the language your child uses, ask them to get more specific until you feel that you really know and understand the problem.

Some of these questions might sound odd, but you need to understand how your child is framing what is happening.

It might be that what your child is labelling as mean is something fairly normal, or it could be much worse. Your job initially is to investigate so that you can see how this is a problem for them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”10/12″][vc_custom_heading text=”2. know thyself” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Interrogation over, you’ve established that this is a real issue, what next?

As tempting as it may be to rush in and solve the problem straight away, we need to perform a couple of safety checks first. These checks may prove fruitless, or they may unearth some vital clues as to why this problem is happening.[/vc_column_text]

look in the mirror
[vc_column_text]Looking squarely in the mirror is rarely comfortable, but examining your own attitudes and behaviours might just give you a key insight that explains what is happening whilst also offering a potential solution, for example:

Are you allowing your child to develop and grow into their own person in an age appropriate manner? Could how you treat them at home be an influence on their behaviour in school?

Is the child copying your behaviour in any way? Are you on the receiving end of someone being mean in a situation in your life? If so, how are you dealing with this?

Our behaviour influences how our children behave, so, how do you talk about other people in front (or within earshot) of your child? Are you being ‘mean’ to someone, or saying mean things about anyone? Are you overly critical of people? Do you belittle people behind their backs?

Did the same thing happen to you as a child? Often we are so keen to help our kids avoid the bad experiences we suffered, that we over react or project our experiences onto theirs and make something out of what is essentailly quite normal.

Get a second opinion. Does your partner, or a close friend see it the same way as you?

Ok, you can put that mirror away now, the next safety check is…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”10/12″][vc_custom_heading text=”3. know your child” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]We all look through rose-tinted glasses when it comes to our little treasures, but no child is perfect!

All kids are tiny terrors at times, they can be difficult and selfish, throw spectacular tantrums, and of course, they can be spiteful and mean.

This is all part of growing up, but if you have even a tiny inkling that your child’s behaviour might be an issue, it may just be worth asking a friend, a relative, or their teacher to give you an honest assessment of how they see your child.

As uncomfortable as it might be, it might just show you how you could steer your child towards better behaviour.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”10/12″][vc_custom_heading text=”4. practical steps you can take” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Phew!

That’s the tricky part out of the way.

We have a problem and it’s nothing to do with us, or our kids so, what practical steps can you take to solve the ‘mean girl’ problem.

The research we did supports our way of thinking: namely, in all but the most extreme situations, we want to help teach our kids to be able to stand up for themselves.

They are going to have to deal with lots of difficult situations in their lives and the more resourceful and confident they are the better. Kids need to learn how to cope, and that learning needs to start somewhere.

That’s not to say that you just let them work it out for themselves as you watch from the sidelines, instead we want to offer our experience to guide and steer, whilst helping our child to discover their own answers.[/vc_column_text]

creative thinking
[vc_column_text]Whenever we are faced with a tricky situation, we like to get creative and to force our brains to sweat by getting it to come up with (at least) 10 ideas about something (thanks James Altucher for this one).

So in this case: “let’s think of 20 ways to improve this situation- 10 each, ok?”.

It doesn’t matter how crazy, or silly the idea… the key is to get your child to come up with her own 10 ways they could solve this problem. Then pool idea resources and decide how to act on the best one(s).[/vc_column_text]

teach your child how to be assertive
[vc_column_text]A great idea we got from X is to teach your child to be assertive in this type of situation. She could say “that’s mean” and/or walk away. By taking positive action and standing up for herself your child will begin to develop her confidence. A great way to practice this is through roleplay.[/vc_column_text]
find some new pals
[vc_column_text]Introduce her to new, different friends. Whether that be inviting other kids from school over for a playdate or taking your child to after school activities, exciting new friends could well mean that the mean girls soon get forgotten.[/vc_column_text]
go on the offensive
[vc_column_text]You could also consider inviting the mean girl(s) on a play date. (if more than one invite them as a group or individually). Tackle the problem head on, see if they can play together. There might be an jealous undercurrent at play that some quality and fun time together could solve.[/vc_column_text]
explain why they might be acting in this way
[vc_column_text]Explain why they might be acting mean.

Our favourite resources for understanding the developmental profile at any given age are:

PBS

Kidsinthehouse[/vc_column_text]

show them what friendship is
[vc_column_text]Another thing to consider, it might be that your child just isn’t aware of what being a friend actually means.

Social skills are learned so it’s definitely worth showing your child what friendship is and what being a good friend is all about. That way, he/she will:

Start to behave in a way that attracts good friends.

Recognise when someone isn’t a good friend, so that they can do something about it (stand up for themselves/ find another friend).

5 Simple Steps Teach Your Child Friendship Skills for Life

http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/7-ways-to-teach-your-child-how-to-be-a-good-friend

https://www.parentingscience.com/kids-make-friends.html

https://www.themaven.net/kidsactivities/parenting/teaching-kids-life-skills-being-a-good-friend-26NooVE80EamACaTYvEGlQ

https://www.kiddiematters.com/social-skills-2/[/vc_column_text]

be a role model
[vc_column_text]The final way that you can influence this situation (before we move onto practical steps you can take), is to be a role model yourself. Be the change you want to see in the world:

Don’t gossip, or be critical of others (even commenting outloud about how other people look).

Show empathy and understanding towards others.

Be calm and measured in your behaviour and reactions.[/vc_column_text]
but what if the situation is serious?
[vc_column_text] Can you talk to the teacher? If they are aware of the situation, what is going on and what are they doing about it? If this is the first they’ve heard of it, what are they going to do about it?

Email the parents of the child and explain the situation- they might have no idea and be shocked. You could maybe express it in ‘non-blame terms’ i.e. “Not sure if there’s something happening at the moment, but my child was upset the other day after school, was yours?” “Have you noticed anything? Could we meet to discuss?” That way you can open a chat without starting the blame game…

If any other kids are experiencing the same treatment, you could talk with the other affected parents to see what they are doing, or perhaps come up with a combined ‘strength in numbers’ approach.

Whichever route you feel is appropriate, before you do anything, discuss your strategy with your child first.  Explain what you are thinking of doing and why- ask for their input. There are some valuable lessons in conflict resolution, friendship, negotiation and problem solving here. A great learning experience if your child is as involved as possible.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”10/12″][vc_custom_heading text=”5. strategies to develop resilience to this type of situation” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]To a person armed only with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

In situations where resilience is called for, our ability to be resilient is based on the resources that we have available to us. By resources we mean, emotional intelligence, attitude, skills, and thinking ability.

Below we highlight 5 ways that you can equip your child with the mental attributes and resources, that will give them the belief and the confidence to handle situations like this.[/vc_column_text]

awareness: the first step towards change
[vc_column_text]It’s difficult to be resilient if you don’t know what it is, or what it looks like. This is why the first module in our Resilience Bootcamp is awareness.

We like to frame day-to-day life through the lens of resilience as often as we can, whether it be a character in a book or a film we are watching, something that happened at work or at school, each and every day there are opportunities to bring resilience to life.[/vc_column_text]

personal stories
[vc_column_text]Kids love hearing about what happened in your life so why not tell them about your personal resilience stories, good and bad (don’t forget the bad).

Tell them about:

what you did and what you didn’t do

what you learned about resilience

what you would do differently now[/vc_column_text]
it’s all about emotions
[vc_column_text]Focus on emotional development, their self-belief, how they see themselves (identity: the sort of person they are)

This is something that happens over time and requires some work and effort on your behalf.

help them to develop a rich neural language re their emotions. Every day ask them to describe how they feel.

Tools to help: emotional wheel and emotions book. join in- describe your emotions[/vc_column_text]

work on their self-belief
[vc_column_text]Beliefs are incredibly important. What you believe about yourself helps to shape your behaviour and the results that you get.

Our Build a positive mental circuit

  • last thing at night- 1 thing today that made you feel proud
  • progress principle
  • help them look back to thier own past when they have come through difficuly

Whenever you notice them doing something ‘resilient’ praise them for it. Be that working hard, trying somethinhg new, trying something again after failing it.

Stress that this is not a binary success or failure situation. Life, people are grey and ever moving, you can only try your best, assess the results you get and try again until you are happy with the outcome.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]https://www.kidsinthehouse.com

http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development/

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/how-to-stop-little-girls-being-mean-to-your-daughter/news-story/64140a948d1f279448bf99fdce32dd06

https://www.modernmom.com/8e99c47c-7a41-11e3-8030-bc764e0546c6.html

https://www.parents.com/kids/problems/bullying/mean-little-girls-being-bullied-at-school/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/06/12/dealing-with-mean-girls-in-kindergarten-maybe-its-not-all-that-bad/?utm_term=.d0eb529d73f4

My Daughter Is Getting the Mean Girls Treatment in Kindergarten

http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2008/10/mean-girls-in-the-kindergarten.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/parenting-your-preschooler/201401/four-year-old-mean-girls-really

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