As a mother of 4 daughters I am well versed in "mean girls" ... my girls are guilty of being mean from time to time ... girls, who have a weapon with their tongues, are notorious for crushing others with them. It has been going on as long as I remember and probably since Eve took a bite from that apple!
Today there are just more mediums in which girls can wag their wicked little tongues!
I have tried to teach my girls the golden rule of "if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all" ... I know that's a hard rule to follow sometimes! I have been mean myself! I know shocking haha !!!
So what is the line between being mean and being a bully?
My youngest had a few mean girls on her soccer team... it ended up being a bully situation and I pulled her from the team and the soccer association is now moving her to another team after I deemed it necessary since not one girl on her team stood up for her when the latest humiliation occurred. Not one! And I learned tonight that when the coach talked to the girls on the team and told them that my baby girl was hurt and upset and not returning they appeared shocked and unsure why .... I am still processing this one!
I get that my daughter has a quick tongue as well.... she is extremely intelligent and has a come back talent pretty much unparalleled with the exception of her sister closest to her in age... that one is even faster and sharper! this is a talent inherited from their dad, I never met a man more quick with whit or comebacks then him.. it's a gift but can be quite the weapon (none of this said is an attack in anyway so not the point) so all this to say .... my daughter ain't no angel!
I do believe from her reaction from that incident that her humiliation was real, the girls chanted "slow poke and cry baby" to her and even went as far as to tell her they didn't want her on their team... it went a little beyond mean and since there were more then 1 and not 1 girl stood up for her ... it was like a pack of bullies.
My heart broke as my baby girl cried real tears of pain.
My daughter is a bigger girl. She has size 11 ladies feet and is creeping up to my height of 5'5" and she is only 10 years old!! She wears bigger sized pants then I do. She has a barrel shaped chest and most of her weight is in her mid section. Truth is she is going to be 1 very tall girl who is also big boned and who knows how her weight will redistribute as she continues to grow and hormones kick in and all that fun female stuff we get to endure. Based on both sides of her genetic pool she will never be skinny..like ever. She does like to graze food wise and we work hard to ensure she has lots of healthy choices but lets face it ... what does any 10 year old want?! candy, sugar and lots of it. I try very carefully to not create an eating issue and give her the power of learning what is good for her and what is not. I talk to her openly and honestly and by putting her in soccer I was trying to provide an outlet for her to have great exercise and get her off the couch.. she can be a total couch potato!
It's hard to watch the struggles that come with being a bigger girl, hard to watch her try really hard to put on a brave face when the clothes that I buy her that I was for sure were going to fit her, are too small. It's hard to watch other well meaning people say "she doesn't need the ice cream" that comes with the dinner... it's hard to think of what some of the inner voices speak to my daughter and what mean kids snicker and say. It's hard.
Words hurt no matter who you are and where you are in life. As long as we are able to speak and communicate with others peoples feelings are going to get hurt. We will never be able to eradicate mean words and actions from society without creating a total dictatorship and hey who wants to live under Nazi regime? not me! freedom of speech is so important and how do you silent bullies without taking that away? I don't know maybe there is a way and I am just sitting on my couch watching the news about a mother who was murdered in my city by her own daughter, so many things don't make sense and I am not sure there is an answer to it all and maybe I am just rambling now.
When asked by the association what action I wanted taken against the coach and team I had no words, I had no plan of attack or agenda by letting them know what went down at that soccer practice. I am glad that they are taking it seriously but what really can be done? what should be done? I just knew that like that good ole Kenny Rogers song, you got to know when to hold them, to know when to fold them, know when to walk away and know when to run. I knew it was time to just walk away from the soccer team and I am not sure what else could or should be done. The couch had suggested that I was teaching her to be a quiter from walking away but to subject her to further humilation is something I am not willing to do, like ever. I do hope the parents are notified and it can be turned into a learning opportunity but I am kind of feeling skeptical after the team appeared to be shocked my girl was so hurt by the lot of them.
So I will sit on it and process it in the slow way that I do and encourage my girl that she is beautiful in every single way and life is full of people who say mean things and we cannot let them bring us down... at least not for long!