Mean Girls: How to handle girl bullies

Girl bullies do things differently — here’s how to teach your child to recognise them and stop them...

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In Mean Girls (2004), starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, the high-school girl clique and the “losers” play cruel tricks, hurl insults and betray one another. Their actions are very “drama” but there’s some truth to what the silver screen portrays.

            Boy bullies are simpler to identify as they are more likely to commit obvious acts of malice, such as physical violence and stealing the other person’s things/money. Girls, conversely, tend to be more subtle in their approach.

What a “Mean Girl” does:

  • Indulges in name calling.
  • Excludes a person intentionally from their clique.
  • Spreads rumours.

 

Girls who feel insecure about themselves may engage in bullying...to increase their social position and make themselves feel better.

 

What drives a “Mean Girl’s” behaviour?

Girls who feel insecure about themselves may engage in bullying behaviour such as gossiping or spreading rumours to increase their social position and make themselves feel better. They carry out such actions to attack the victim’s self-esteem and reputation.

            Wendy*, a primary school teacher, told SmartParents that such characters even create group chats to taunt their victims, such as a girl who could not hang out with her friends as she had strict curfews. “Even when that girl tried to leave the group chat, they kept re-adding her in order to taunt her,” says Wendy. Thanks to the Internet and smartphones, such incidents are not uncommon, even among children under age 10.

Your child could be a victim of bullying if he/she:

  • Has few friends with whom she spends her time with.
  • Seems afraid of attending class or taking part in organised activities with peers.
  • Seems sad and/or depressed. Complains of headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments, often caused by stress.
  • Has trouble sleeping.
  • Is not eating as well as before.
  • Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem.

*Name changed

Photo: iStock

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