as a kid, i was at different times a bully and bullied. i don’t think my daughter will ever be a bully – she just doesn’t have it in her. she’s incredibly sweet and empathetic and nurturing. being bullied by girls is especially painful because unfortunately, girls are natural born experts at isolating, pointing out your weaknesses in the meanest of ways, getting other girls to gang up on you. one day you’re best friends, the next day, sometimes inexplicably, you’re the outcast.
in junior high, there were these two very popular bff’s but one day, one of them turned on the other with such fierceness that it was shocking. she filled her ex bff’s locker with dirt and rancid trash, handed out flyers of her picture with “whore” written on top, she threw wadded up papers at her every day in english class and everyone would snicker – or at least the people who knew what was good for them. this went on for months. how the girl endured it i have no idea.
when it comes to he said/she said or he did/she did from my daughter, i know to take it with a grain of salt. however, for the past couple years, my daughter has consistently told me about a classmate that makes her cry, breaks her promises, is mean to her, and that she’s like this with other girls as well. what blows about this situation is two-fold: the first is obvious, no parents wants to see their child sad, hurt, isolated; second, i haven’t been able to really help her.
i’ve told her not to play with her but it seems like this girl is the ring-leader and everyone wants to play with her.
i’ve told her to tell the teachers when she’s being mean to her but my daughter said that sometimes the teachers are too busy to listen.
i’ve told her to play with other girls who are nice to her because real friends don’t hurt one another. i’m not sure if this has really sunk in.
i’e told her to walk away but this girl follows her while taunting.
well, we’ve done it the nice PC way, now we’re doing it my way. it’s not about being aggressive or mean or violent. it’s about making sure that person never bullies you again because she knows that you are not to be messed with.
if she pushes you, push her back as hard as you can.
if she hits you, hit her back but twice as hard.
if she yells at you, get in her face and yell back closer and louder.
if she tries to isolate you, talk to the other girls and isolate her instead.
you get the picture.
i’m not into this let’s hold hands and dance around a bonfire while we weave flower headbands and talk about our feelings with the aggressor. the only language an aggressor understands is one of force and if she gets that you will not take her crap EVER, she will back off.
my dear husband tried to give my daughter advice – which she followed – and it kind of backfired. this is not an overarching human to human issue, this is a girl issue because girls fight differently. most of the times, if guys have beef, they duke it out and they’re pretty much done. with girls, it’s a long slow torturous crippling debilitating experience. don’t get me wrong, no matter what, being bullied sucks the big one but girls do it in a way that’s truly f**ked up.
i know these are unavoidable events. she will probably go through it later with more severity. friends may turn their backs on her, teachers may not fully comprehend the situation, even we as parents may not always be able to help so at the end of the day, she has to stand up for herself.
i don’t want to change my daughter at all; sweetness and kindness are part of her dna. i do hope though that she will quickly grow a very thick and sturdy steel spine.