Helping Your Elementary School-Aged Daughter Cope with Mean Girls
Good Parenting Tips
As a reader, I sometimes laugh in amazement at the wordy, zany, and often downright misleading titles that are given to books these days. As a writer, I often find myself staring at my own computer screen, trying to come up with the most clever, catchy, and don’t forget SEO-friendliest title for my work. Last week, as I was perusing the Parenting section shelves at my local Barnes & Noble (pre-occupied with how to best prepare my 2nd grade daughter for coping with little girls who are mean) the most appealing title jumped out at me–Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades (St. Martin’s Griffen, 2010). I wonder how long it took authors Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert to think of it?
I purchased the book as much for its honest and forthright titling as for the practical instructions I was hoping to find within its pages. I am happy to report that I am not disappointed with either. Little Girls Can Be Mean is 263 pages worth of simple-to-understand and easy-to-apply advice for how young girls can navigate the complex social pathways of elementary school and how parents and educators can support them in doing so.
The guide book gives all-important credence to the fact that relational aggression (aka: bullying) begins as early as the pre-school years with young girls, and becomes more intentional and intensive as the early school years progress. Anthony and Lindert emphasize that it is never too early to prepare our daughters for the realities of their world. They note that giving girls the skills to manage social struggles on their own (though always with the encouragement and support of trustworthy adults) provides them with confidence and a sense of competence that will serve them well throughout their life.
Little Girls Can Be Mean tackles a wide range of the most commonly experienced social difficulties faced by elementary school aged girls, including:
___ Yo-Yo Friendships
___ Social Exclusion
___ When a Best Friend Pulls Away
___ Social Power Plays
___ The Rumor Mill
Solutions: Hands On Activities
With dozens of hands-on activities aimed directly at young girls and detailed explanations of how parents can apply a 4-step process for coping with bullying (observe, connect, guide, support to act) across many situations, Little Girls Can Be Mean is a valuable resource for any parent, educator, and/or girl facing the social dynamics of the early school years.
About the Author
Signe Whitson, LSW. As a mother of two girls and a child therapist, she gives advice from her firsthand and professional experiences. She has provided real life, easy to understand ways for parents to help their children with life’s difficult situations. As a Master Trainer for Life Space Crisis Intervention, she specializes in helping youth to turn around their at risk situations into positive opportunities to learn how to handle crisis. Her advice can be found on her popular blog, The Passive Aggressive Diaries.