Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Can't we all just get along?

Calling all moms of girls, listen up!

Last week, Atlanta hosted old school bubble gum pop, New Kids on the Block. Yes, I went and had a blast! The city also hosted new school bubble gum pop, One Direction. No, I did not go, would not if the tickets were free.

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Yes, I know I cut off part of One Direction's name, whatever!

I don't recall NKOTB fans being as vicious as these One Direction followers. Case in point, I listen to a radio morning show that conducted an interview with One Direction months ago and again last week (seems like they have a concert here every 6 months). One member of this morning show is a 30-something, very attractive woman, who happened to catch the eye of one of the One Direction group members. To the point that they were messaging each other while he was on tour. This set One Direction followers ablaze! Their most recent interview prompted some very hateful and distasteful tweets. The morning show hosts could not even read them on air, as they were filled with f-bombs and the "c" word. These were all coming from tween and teenage girls. Many of the tweets talked about how they would love to kill these morning show hosts, the word "die" was thrown around so much. WTH? When did this happen? I don't ever recall being so filled with venom but then again there was no social media when I was their age.

This concerned me deeply because I have a 7 year old girl. I am sure you've all heard about cyber bullying. I have not experienced this and pray that we don't have to. However, it has caused me to want to prepare myself and my daughter.

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google images

Where do I start? How? I can say that I will keep her from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But that won't stop mean girls from posting things. Things that the entire world can see, an imprint that could potentially follow her.

My first instinct was to read up how to build her up and how she can build herself up. Here are 5 books I ran across on

  1. Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
  2. Little Girls Can Be Mean by Michelle Anthony
  3. Stand up for yourself and your friends by Angela Martini
  4. A Smart Girl's Guide To Knowing What To Say by Patti Kelley Criswell
  5. The Feelings Book by Dr. Lynda Madison 

What has happened to make girls so vicious towards other girls? Most recently, I read a post over at mish mash mama, where she urged us, as women, to get rid of competition. Women, we know how we are. We stray off of our paths, glancing over at somebody else, saying why this, why that. I know, cause I am guilty. But is this where it starts with our girls? You know kids watch everything we do, we are their example. Hummingbird imitates me so much it's scary! But for real, is this why our girls have vicious tendencies?

Or does it stem from their fathers not being present in their lives? I said "present". Just because the parents are still married, living in the same house, doesn't mean that daddy is present. We all know the impact a dad can have on a daughter's life. Ask me. My parents are still married, have been for the past 40 years. My papa was/is a rolling stone, which means, among other things, he wasn't very "present" in my life growing up. I know that this has impacted my adult relationships. I am free from that now but it was a lot of hard work and acknowledging that I was bitter about it.

I'm not saying we raise a bunch of male bashing chicks but girls that hang out with each other, that help each other, that say nice things to each, that call out other girls when they are wrong, that are real with each other, that aren't afraid to stand up for what's right, to help define what's right, to cry when they need to, to laugh because they need to, to not be afraid of being smart, creative, beautiful, to not hide away because of their body shape, that talk about how they feel, that express themselves, that don't purposely hurt others, that live, laugh, love.

Still takes a village, ya'll. As that village, let's come to grips with our emotions. I know I need to stop whining about this, about that and get on with living. The world isn't perfect but I am not gonna let that stop me from living. Yes, life is full of disappointments but I gotta learn from somewhere. I have never proclaimed to be the perfect mom, neither am I striving to be. I am working to be the mom that God has called me to be to Hummingbird and Yogli. That may look different from the type of mom you've been called to be and that's ok. With our differences, we can learn from each other. I would love to sit here and say whatever hurdle life throws at me, that I dodge it, that I know exactly what to do. I don't always know what to do. Ask my husband. Ask my family. Ask my friends. That's why it still takes a village.

To get us started, I developed this Girl Inspired printable and make it available to you.
**my disclaimer: this is my first time offering a printable, so let me know if you are not able to access or print.

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I printed one for Hummingbird, framed it and put it on a shelf in her room. I want her to know that these are things she can do to feel good about herself, boosting up that self worth.

I know that many mamas will say "what about our boys?" I am right there with you, I have one, a teenage version. Boys are a whole other battle, which needs more attention as well.

Would love to grow this into a movement, a movement all over the blogsphere, blogverse. Ya'll with me? Talk to me about how you keep your girl(s) grounded, how do you encourage them, how do you set them straight, what mama wisdom do you share with them?

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  1. Tweens and teen are vicious! they don't care if they are hurting somebody. My kid was bullied at school. He got depressed and got sick. I am lucky he did not commit suicide like other kids who are victims of bullying. He stopped school for a year so I can console him and build his self-esteem again. Right now he's back to school and doing good and hopefully no more bullies.

    1. I am glad that your son is doing better. It baffles me that other people bother other people to the point where a life may be lost.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you so much for the shout out and for linking up. As much as I love social media, I think it has made things SO much worse, plus smart phones, and reality TV (all of which I love, for myself, not for my kids). In general, I think it's made everyone meaner, not just tweens/teens. The ability to say whatever you want, anonymously, instantly, and without consequence, to the world is a very dangerous thing.

    1. No problem, Shannon! Social media is like a double edged sword. It makes a lil kid seem like their a giant because they can push people around with the click of a mouse. Hopefully, we can start a positive movement to ease this issue.

  3. It's just horrible out there. My daughter's 13 and it's crazy. I don't want my kid picked on, but I actually think I would be more upset if I found out she was picking on other kids. She'll come home and tell me stories, and I'll ask her, "Were you involved?" She always says no, but that she didn't defend the victim. I raised her to be nice to everyone. I like to think that as she gets older, she'll be more comfortable in speaking out. It's also difficult because she has a different father than my other kids, (I had her right before I turned 19.) Her dad is very pro-popularity, and "don't be friends with losers", etc. Which is the exact opposite of my attitude. Are the books you listed for kids or adults?

    1. Misha, you're right, I would feel horrible if my kid was picking on somebody else. Hopefully, you're able to direct her to not be concerned with popularity.
      The first 2 books are for parents, the last 3 are for kids. I figured it was good to go ahead and prepare, my daughter is going to 2nd grade and I've found that this crap starts early.

  4. You are so right, they ARE vicious. I mean little girls (and some big ones) can be catty, but now with social media it's that whole "I don't have to FACE anyone so I can be especially mean" thing. Sucks! I hope my little ones are able to stay OFF of social media until AT LEAST 13 or older. We will be locking up our computers like Fort Knox!
    Thanks for the book recommendations, I pinned this post and highlighted the books. I am adding them to my "Must Read" list!
    Thanks for coming by the Tattler THursday blog hop. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your graphic with the shield and HIGH HEELS! It's so cool.

    1. You nailed it Joy, there are some big girls out there that have issues. I plan on keeping her from all of this social media but am thinking that just because she's off of it won't stop them from posting things about her. It truly sucks!!! But as parents, we keep trying to steer our kids in the right direction. All it takes is for one knucklehead and their knuckle heads parents to try and mess that up.
      Thanks for pinning my post, I really appreciate that, helping to shine light on this subject even more.
      Btw, I was so excited to have that graphic made, it's the cutest thing!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Rena. Your blog is quite awesome as well, so awesome that I am a new follower.

  6. I love this post! Cyber bullying is an issue and not just with children but with the adults.

    1. Thanks, Candice. I've seen cyber bullying in action with adults, it's just all around awful.

  7. Such a great post! Girls of all ages can be so cruel. I worry about my baby girl growing up around such blind 'hate'.

    The printable is gorgeous and such a nice idea.

    Also I love the line, "Just because the parents are still married, living in the same house, doesn't mean that daddy is present." - so, SO true and I wish men would understand this!

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Serena! My 7 year old already talks about the things other girls her age say, it's CRAZY!

      The printable is a great reminder, hoping to instill good self talk at an early age.

      And yes, so many people believe that just having the man in the house makes the difference. Not if he's not involved, otherwise he's just taking up space!

      Again, thanks for stopping by.