My daughter has been in school two weeks and so far, she has had 3 interactions with “mean girls”.  She’s 7.  And those are just the little stories she was able to tell me about!

Now, the “bullying” word can definitely be overused.  Saying something that hurts someone without thought is rude; and saying something with the thought to hurt someone is just mean.  Repeated and ongoing harassment with the intent to inflict emotional or physical harm is bullying.

So I’m not ready yet to say my daughter is being bullied.  It’s the beginning of the school year and everyone is just working on settling in.  Some kids may be feeling insecure or overwhelmed. One way to push those feelings outward is to project them onto someone else.  One way to feel included is to exclude someone else.

I am so lucky that I have a whole community who is looking out for my daughter – teachers, school workers, and of course big brothers and their friends. I’m also lucky that this kind of thing hasn’t popped up with my older kids, but it seems more prevalent among girls than boys.  Sigh.

It’s hard not to feel like a wild animal when you learn that someone has maliciously targeted and hurt your funny, magical, sweet child.  So I’ve kept my cool as she has shared with me a story (she doesn’t like to talk about it at all) and suggested that she just find someone else to play with and look for chances to be nice to others.  

It’s the hardest but the best advice, to just ignore people who are out to hurt you or belittle you.  They want to suck out all your joy by making you miserable, so if you continue to keep shining, they’re out of luck.  Don’t worry, I’m not that good at heart – internally rolling my eyes as I give this advice while swallowing all the curse words.

And so it begins… #meangirls