Mean Girls….Bullies come in all shapes and sizes…

From Mean Girls the movies...these girls would scare me too

Reading about Mindy Basara’s story on bullies(that airs tonight at 11)…made me think of what happened with my daughter when she was in elementary school(bullies start early sometimes). We tend to think of a bully as a big, snarling boy on the playground who grinds a smaller kids face in the dirt, but as most of you know, possibly from personal experience…they come in all shapes and sizes…and methods.

My daughter was in maybe the 4th grade when this started….one girl with a strong personality in her relatively small class of kids, decided she didn’t like my daughter…and influenced all the other girls….even her best friend, eventually…to exclude her. I tried to help her deal with this the best I could…trying to determine what was the problem…what she could do to win back friendships. After she told me the other girls didn’t play with her, I was astonished, and asked, “Well, sweetie who do you play with ?” …to which she answered, “I play with the boys sometimes, and sometimes I just play by my self“. It broke my heart .

There were some mean phone calls from the girls, and eventually we decided to leave that school….that our daughter needed a change of scene. Because really, while teachers do need to know what was going on(and my daughter’s did not and was horrified when she found out)…there was nothing I, nor the teacher, nor even the girl’s parents could do….not in actuality. Because parents don’t legislate friendships. You can no more force your child to be friends with someone than you can force them to be a genius(more’s the pity).

Things turned out ok(and so did my daughter)…she went to another school, and was happy there and found a whole new group of friends, but I remember how helpless I felt as a parent, not being able to change things for my sweet girl. But there’s nothing funnier than scenes from Mean Girls the movie…my daughter loved it. “You Go Glen Coco”….remember candy cane grams?? Enjoy.

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6 Responses

  1. Donna,

    I was bullied in high school. These girls taunted me everyday my bus arrived. I told my mom, she went to the school and complained and the girls were suspended for three days. After that no more problems. To this day when I hear about this on the news I still look back to my bullied days. This was back in the 70’s.

  2. Hi Donna… I experienced a situation similar to your daughter’s when I was in 7th grade. Several girls decided I wasn’t cool and shunned me. It probably only lasted a couple weeks, but felt like forever at the time. And even now, 20 yrs later, it still hurts to think about (and my grandmother stills refers to the ringleader as “that Meghan!”). 🙂

  3. Donna –
    I can totally sympathize with your daughter and many others that have been victims of bullying through school. I suffered not only taunting and teasing from fellow classmates, but from a teacher as well. I am glad to say that many of those classmates “grew up” and out of that phase and are now friends, but some are not that lucky. Thanks for sharing this story and I look forward to Mindy’s story tonight.

  4. It’s amazing to me how common these stories are…several people here in the newsroom have had similar tales about their child, or themselves. But I don’t remember kids being quite so cold when I was a little girl…or maybe I’ve just forgotten.

  5. I am a “adult survivor of peer abuse” (I was bullied). It happened during middle school and high school. So when I see notices for reunions, I tend to wince. I realize that people are supposed to have “grown up”. But do I really want to see the faces of folks that were heartless towards me as a child? My heart breaks any time I hear of a child these days going through it. I know schools are supposed to have gotten better about it, but I still think it isn’t enough.

    I’m so sorry that your daughter went through it when she was in elementary school…. But I’m happy to hear your stories how well she is doing now!

  6. Glad to hear that your daughter is doing well since she went to another school and have friends who accept, love and respect her unconditionally. I am sorry to read what she went through and I understand how bullying can impact on a person.

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