Mean girls’ behaviour

As  parents, what do we do when our child is excluded, is on the receiving end of “mean girls’ behaviour“?  Perhaps they even feel that what they are receiving is bullying.

A colleague (a mother of three children) shared this post with the staff a few weeks ago. I read it, feeling rather sad. Why do children (people) do this to one another? How often does it happen in our school?

Then, today, a mum of a young girl called me, at an absolute loss. Her daughter has been excluded – not once, in very covert way over the weekend, but twice. Texts are sent, calls are made and fingers are pointed. Yes .. it is happening in our school!

Where are the parents?” you might ask. I do too. But it seems that some of them are there. With their heads either facing each other, or hidden in the sand.

What would happen if this treatment was directed at their child?

What do they do to advise their children …how does one teach  empathy and compassion rather than cruelty, rejection and shaming? How much do children model their behaviour on their parents’?

What happens to the victim of “‘mean girls’ behaviour” ? Do they retreat? React? Mimic?  Lash out? Hide?

How do schools effectively deal with this behaviour?

How do parents effectively deal with this behaviour?

How do friends effectively deal with this behaviour?

Is there a way to find resolution?



About Jina Belnick

I am a full time learner - tumbling head first into education and joining my learners on the amazing adventures that we encounter daily at our PYP school in Melbourne, Australia.I am currently working in learning support, feeling the waters and seeing how teachers and learners are best supported, I am a listener and a leader, an inquirer and a follower. I'm loving the ride!
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2 Responses to Mean girls’ behaviour

  1. maryacbyu says:

    I volunteer with the teenage youth in my neighborhood, and we recently had a bout of unkindness among the girls. As we try to help them work together to find compassion and healing with one another, it struck me that the nuance of what made their fight hurtful could be a valuable learning experience to share (without naming names) with my 6 year old daughter now. I told her about the behind-the-back sneaky talk. I told her about the silent passivity from others. And I asked her what she thought, how the situation could have been different if just one person had chosen to stand up and say (even to a friend), I don’t think we should be talking about people this way. It’s so tough because I feel the bullying assemblies and discussions we have at school tend to focus on bigger, more visible or stereotypical altercations, when in fact it’s usually much more subtle and biting than we convey. So overall, I think the key is to get better at shedding light on what that ugliness really looks like, naming it for what it is. I’m sorry you guys are experiencing this right now, but perhaps they will be able to gain something positive from the experience with support!

    Good luck!!


    • Jina Belnick says:

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks so much for your input – the work you are doing sounds like it is proactive and meaningful!

      I agree 100% and both the mother and child have gained a great deal from the experience. As a parent, I try to teach my children to stand up for what they believe is right. However, when peer pressure and acceptance creeps in, they seem to find this rather challenging. As parents , we need to try and model appropriate behaviour for our children and share stories to try and teach them empathy.

      Liked by 1 person

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