I think most of us remember days from grade school, middle school, high school when we were treated badly by our peers. Some of us have horrible memories. Some of us were that child and some of us were in that dreaded clique. I was *that girl* for much of my school years, only to get fed up with it all and turned into the mean girl in high school, where I ran with a bunch of bad-ass boys and took no crap anymore. I’ve since found the balance and become a person who is much more centered and values my interactions with people, often finding the compassion in situations where many see none.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from an angry parent in Mina’s 5th grade class. Last Friday, Mina had a sleepover with M & B. Friday evening, they went to the mall and the girls all bought Best Friend necklaces. Tuesday on the playground, Mina and M were starting to play with A and B wanted nothing to do with this (A is notoriously mischievous and not always so kind) so Mina asked B for her necklace back, then turned around and gave it to A!!! Needless to say, B was so hurt by this. When B’s parent called yesterday, I could hear the pain in her voice from watching her child be so crushed by my own daughter’s actions. I apologized profusely.

When I finally got the opportunity to speak to Mina about this, she broke into tears immediately. She knew she had misbehaved and caused harm to B. She admitted to it being her idea and apologized. I was not easy on her about this but I am so floored and upset by this I almost can’t see straight. She sees so much love and compassion and kindness towards other in this house, I don’t understand how she could think that wouldn’t be hurtful! How quickly we forget how painful it is to be on the other side.

I think what is really upsetting to me is this culture of mean girls that develops in the grades. I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen with boys but I don’t see the severity and the downright cattiness. Why do females feel this need to be competitive and backstabbing? And much more importantly, what can we do to change it? Do situations like this happen in other countries?

Any clarity is appreciated cuz right now I’m seeing stars.

xo,

r

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