Raising children isn't easy, especially when it comes to teaching them how to treat others. But, as much as parents try to raise kids who are kind, sometimes a child goes their own way. If you're concerned over the behavior of your daughter, focusing on early signs your child will be a mean girl is a simple way to address a girl's bullying behaviors early.
In today's world, the mean girl mentality is prevalent in several environments — not just the school yards. Luckily, there's also a huge push to address and stop the behavior, thus creating a more positive behaviors instead. On her personal blog, psychotherapist Lisa McCrohan wrote about how she was bullied as a kid and that made her become an "includer," or someone who sees an outsider and seeks to include them. She mentioned the mean girl behavior can start early, and it's heartbreaking, especially when it's your child who's the culprit. As a parent, if you're worried or unsure your child may be exhibiting unkind behaviors towards others, it's OK. Learning to spot some of the early signs shared below, address it, and have important conversations with your daughters is a great first step to cutting off the mean girl mentality before it gets out of hand.
1. She's Demanding & Controlling
Being bossy is a trait a lot of growing girls exhibit from time to time, especially at home. According to Popsugar, however, if your daughter is crossing the line and consistently bossing others around, she's likely doing it to her peers as well.
2. She Threatens People
The aforementioned PopSugar article also noted that if you hear your daughter making threats, you need to nip it in the bud. Have the discussion about why threats are not the correct way to communicate with others.
3. She's Overly Focused On Popularity
According to Everyday Health, a warning sign of bullying is a child who's focused on being popular — especially to the point of obsession. If popularity is becoming a focal point of your daughter's life, or it's seemingly the end of the world to her if something poses a threat to her popularity, it may be time to address underlying insecurities causing her behavior.
4. She Doesn't Include Others
The aforementioned Everyday Health article also mentioned that being a mean girl often involves excluding others from groups. This can also mean acting out towards individuals and groups that are different from them.
5. She Shares Sensitive Information
Young girls like to gossip – that's no secret. For a while, they may even repeat most of what they hear to others. However, there comes a point after toddlerhood when kids realize some discussions are meant to stay private. According to the aforementioned PopSugar article, if your daughter's constantly telling or keeping secrets, there's a chance she's doing it to a lot of people. And that can be hurtful.
6. She Follows Meanness With "Just Kidding"
According to Psychology Today, one of the most common girl bullying behaviors includes saying "just kidding" after being mean. It's a blameless way to justify being cruel without taking on responsibility for it.
7. She Doesn't Listen To Adults
If your daughter doesn't listen to the adults in her life and clearly disrespect authority, that's a major sign to address, according to the previously mentioned Popsugar article. Often the mean-girl mentality translates into your child feeling like they're boss no matter what.
8. She's Physically Aggressive With Others
According to Stop Bullying, girls who get into a lot of verbal or physical fights and are showing increasing aggressiveness towards others are often exhibiting signs of a mean girl or bully.
9. She Looks Up To Other Mean Girls
According to a Pacer Center study shared by MSN, if your daughter's friends are mean towards others, your child might also be participating in the unkind behavior as well. Additionally, if the roll models or adults in her life are not nice to others, her behavior may reflect that as well.
10. She's Manipulative
Girls cry, fib, and do ridiculous things when they're young. It's part of growing up and totally normal. But if you notice your daughter is using emotions and lies to subtly get her way, with no remorse, it may be time to address and explain the behavior, according to Psychology Today.
11. She Often Uses The Silent Treatment
Every child gets frustrated with their parents and refuses to talk to them. That's normal. If, however, you start noticing your daughter giving her peers the "silent treatment" a lot, it's a common mean girl behavior to discuss with them, according to the previously mentioned Psychology Today article.