Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Navigating the "Mean Girls" Mentality

3 Tips for Helping Your Daughter to Navigate the “Mean Girls” Mentality with Ease

By Child Therapy Chicago's Guest Blogger

Jill Hope, Founder of I Shine (http://www.ishinekids.com)

There are few things more painful to a parent than seeing your beautiful daughter struggle to fit in with other girls.  You can feel helpless as you see her watching from the sidelines while other girls are smiling, laughing, and talking together

The scary thing is that when your daughter feels so blatantly left out, she may begin to feel invisible, unvalued, and unworthy.

So how can you help your daughter if she feels like she doesn't fit in, or feels pressure to be like other girls in order to be accepted? Here are 3 tips that can help:

• Show her how the opinions and actions of her peers do not define her, unless she agrees with them

In the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, the second agreement is to never take anything personally. What this means in the context of the mean girls mentality, is that just because someone may have said or done something that your daughter could perceive as a mean act against her, it can’t affect her unless she decides to agree with what was said or done. 

Ask her: “Is what they did or said to you the truth about you? Likely her answer will be “no”. It may be how the other person feels about her, but she does not need to agree with it. It is not the truth about her. The truth is that no one knows your daughter better than she knows herself. 

When she realizes that the words or deed is really a result of the internal pain or insecurity that the perpetrator is feeling, and in no way the truth about her, it is easier for her not to take it personally, not to agree with the word or deed. 

The more she can develop the habit of knowing for herself what the truth is about her, and not buying into what someone says or does to her, she will being develop her own sense of self and inner strength. 

From this place of inner strength, she is less likely to be ignored or attract negative attention, and is more likely to attract supportive and loving friendships. 

• Ask yourself what this situation might be mirroring for you?

Often, the challenges our children experience are mirroring something within us that may need some attention. It could be something you’ve long put in the past, or something you are dealing with in the present. 

If your daughter is struggling with peers, and feeling invisible, unvalued, and unworthy in your life, ask yourself where you have felt invisible, unvalued, and unworthy in your life?

When you can uncover the deeper issue within yourself and do some of your own personal work around the issue, it will most often translate into the beginning of a positive change for your daughter.

• Help her focus on what is going right, despite the challenges

It is so easy to stay focused on the problem when it is in our midst. However, staying focused on the problem is the surest way to guarantee it will continue, or even grow worse.

Instead, get your daughter to shift her thoughts to the things that are going right for her, right now, despite this challenge. You may need to get her started by offering a few ideas, like “you enjoy singing and being a part of the choir”, or “you really like your teacher”, but once you get her going, she will start to acknowledge more of the good in her life. 

Not only will you shift her mood almost instantly with this strategy, but you will be teaching her a powerful skill she can use in the midst of any challenge she faces. And confidence grows when we have tools we can use at will to help ourselves feel better.

If you want to learn more creative methodsstrategies, and tips to help your daughter cultivate the confidence, self-acceptance, and inner strength she needs to deal effectively with her peers and overcome being a victim of the “mean girls” mentalityplease download a complimentary copy of my brand new e-book "3 Secrets to Ignite Your Daughter's Confidence, Self-Acceptance, and Inner StrengthHERE

About the Author
Jill Hope is a writer, parenting transformation coach, and founder of I Shine (http://www.ishinekids.com). Through her work with I Shine and her passion for helping busy moms to bring out the best in themselves and their kids so they can shine their inner light on the world, Jill has designed several unique and innovative programs.