Today’s mean girls are like the past generation of passive-aggressive women on steroids and it can start as early as 4 years old. Read More
Given the propensity of men who stalk, control, domineer, psychologically manipulate and torture their partners and families, and sexually, mentally and physically harass, bully and assault other girls, boys men and women I'm not sure that girls are more likely to engage in relational aggression than boys. I think the term 'mean girls' stems from the sexist notion of females as 'bitches'. Perhaps we need the term 'mean boy' to take into account the not uncommon phenomenon of nasty, mean, 'bitchy' boys.
"but Why Mom?"... those were my daughter's words to me in the car after dance class this morning, where she sat against the mirror by herself with a look of sorrow, holding back tears, wishing to be removed from this hurtful experience. She was referring to the two little girls in her dance class (barely 3 years old) who shun her and scoot away whenever she sits next to them. After their behavior has repeated itself multiple times, the only way I can explain it is to think and tell her that they are unkind ... Actually, the behavior mystifies me. Could 3 year olds really be mean already?... Unfortunately, I'm afraid so. Why and how to alter the behavior, especially in kids that are not my own, I wish I knew.
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Caroline Presno, Ed.D. is a freelance writer, author, and mom of a 4 year-old girl.
It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.