Little Girl Drama

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MeanGirls

I have two girls, ages 5 and 8, so I have been around lots of girls their ages since my first was born. Lots and lots of girls.

Starting in preschool and continuing into the 2nd grade, there is one unkind sentence girls tend to throw around ALL the time when they get frustrated or mad.

Most of the time, little girls use it as a ploy to get their way when playing with a friend, not to be outright unkind or mean.

But I have witnessed many tears and hurt feelings of the little girls who are the recipients of this sentence. It’s hurtful, and just like teaching kids not to hit or bite, teaching kids to be kind is equally important.

Can you guess what it is?

“I won’t be your friend anymore.”  

or

“You’re not my friend anymore.”

or

“If you don’t _________, I won’t be your friend anymore.” 

 

Moms of girls? Do you agree? Has this also been your experience?

When thinking about writing this post, I asked my almost 3rd grade daughter,  “What do you think is the meanest thing girls say to each other?”

Guess what she said?

“I won’t be your friend anymore.”

When my girls have been the recipients of this sentence, I have explained to them that their friends don’t mean it, they are just trying to use it to get them to do something.

I also ask them how it felt when someone said it to them. Their answer, “Sad.”

Which I explained is why it is unkind to say that to someone else.  I try to use these situations to teach empathy and point out how someone’s words can make you feel, in hopes that they in turn learn to not use their words in that way to another.

I would love your input on this topic!  What have you found to be common unkind sentences girls tend to say?

9 Comments

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9
  1. 1
    Anah says:

    This breaks my heart on two levels. I’ve seen it on both sides from my own children. My 3 year old daughter at the community pool was told, “NO – go away! We don’t want to play with you!” She cried and cried. So the best thing I could do at the time was to cheer her up with my boring company. We played “Ring Around the Rosy” in the pool and guess who wanted to join? The mean girls. I had to bite my lip but knew it was what my daughter wanted so we all played together 🙂
    My 7 year old son is on the Autism scale. He truly doesn’t know how to interpret feelings and empathy. He’s always been a “one” kid: “I only want one present” and “I only want one friend” He becomes attached to one friend and will not include others into his two man team. Please believe me that we try so hard to make him understand that his “words are hurtful.” We work with him all day long and enforce behaviors at home that we hope he will carry onto the school playground.

    • 2
      jen says:

      Thanks for your input Anah, it is heart breaking, but sounds like you are doing all the right things as a mom for your kids. For me, the most important thing I try to do is teach empathy, and point out how it made THEM feel, so they learn it is unkind to do to someone else because they know what it feels like.

      • 3
        Anah says:

        Crazy but my son’s lesson at school today was this EXACT SUBJECT! The “Golden Rule” “mommy, what if someone said ‘ hey, I don’t want to play with you today’ or ‘hey, you’re not playing what I want to play!!’ …. “that’s not very nice, mommy, right?” At least the school is making an effort 🙂

  2. 4
    Lee says:

    I agree Jen. As you know, these words fly in my house as well. Thankfully not often, but when they do, boy they make a fat dent in a play date! I have found, however, that as you said, a little empathy works almost immediately. When I turn it around for my daughter, she instantly understands what she has done. Thank you for this post!

    • 5
      jen says:

      It seems to be one of the most likely phrases to elicit one of the strongest reactions from a friend – so I think that’s why kids tend to use it so much. 🙁 I love using empathy like you. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  3. 6
    christy says:

    Jen, oh my gosh, this post is so timely. Elizabeth and I were JUST talking about this yesterday. I completely agree that “I won’t be your friend anymore,” is one of the most hurtful sentences that can be said, especially to a little girl. We’ve also been the recipient of….”You not invited to my birthday party anymore!!!” Ouch. That one almost upsets my kids more than the “I won’t be your friend anymore.” Even if the birthday party in question is 3 months away. I comfort with hugs and smooches, and then we talk about how it makes them feel…same concept as you’re talking about. And we talk about how we want to be treated…and how we choose to treat others – with kindness and friendship. It hurts to see my babies hurt. But, it’s part of growing up, and part of our jobs as mamas to help them navigate through this. Thank you for posting such an important topic.

    • 7
      jen says:

      I have heard the birthday party one too! Awful! These kids just want to have something that gives them impact to get what they want. But it’s hurtful and unkind and I wish all moms were like you gals who have commented!

  4. 8

    This post couldn’t be more spot on. Children often don’t understand the extent of damage they can inflict on one another with the use of these seemingly harmless phrases. Even if they don’t mean what they say, their friends may feel threatened or ashamed of whatever actions they have done to have warranted this response from their friends. And to add on to that, these children may not have a strong understanding of their feelings at the moment or why they have those feelings, and this can lead to mixed thoughts and emotions that can further exacerbate the situation.Great to see parents are able to identify these seemingly harmless issues and bring attention to them, thanks for sharing!

    • 9
      jen says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Karin! Couldn’t agree more!

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